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Record month for Glasgow Airport!

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Page last updated: 16th Mar 2017 - 03:24 PM

Official numbers have been revealed, Glasgow Airport boasts passenger numbers around 603,000 which is a 7.7% increase from February in 2016. The airport have also said they have seen a 20.3% rise in flights to European destinations such as Barcelona, Brussels and Paris.

Managing director Amanda McMillan said: “We’ve made a strong start to the year and our efforts to secure new routes and provide an even greater destination choice for our passengers continues. “Our European network continues to grow and will be strengthened significantly in 2017 with the launch of several new Ryanair routes, including Lisbon, Valencia and Palanga, in Lithuania, this month. “Services to Madrid, Frankfurt, Krakow and the Croatian city Zadar will follow later in the year. “The next two months will also see the introduction of new routes to Dubrovnik, Bergen and the launch of Delta’s new direct service to JFK.”

However, domestic flights showed a dip of 1.4% while long-haul services rose by 6.6%.

Glasgow Airport, which saw 9,327,193 passengers pass through their doors in 2016, has a busy range of both international and domestic destinations. London Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick are not only the most popular domestic routes, but actually the 3 most flown destinations from the Scottish airport. Amsterdam and Dubai are the airports most frequented international destinations.

Mr Mackay, the MSP that covers Glasgow Airport and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said: “It is encouraging to see passenger growing at Glasgow Airport yet again in what has so far been a very successful year for the Airport. In a time of economic pressures, maintaining passenger numbers can be a challenge and this new increase in numbers is testament to the hard work of all the airport staff. Glasgow Airport is going from strength to strength which is good news for the whole of Renfrewshire. The Airport is a vital part of the local economy and any increase in passenger numbers has a positive knock on effect throughout the area.”

Want to keep up to date with all of the Glasgow Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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New member of Glasgow Airport staff - Britain's first robot worker

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Page last updated: 13th Jan 2017 - 04:48 PM

December; the month of new gadget gifts! Well last month, Glasgow Airport unveiled a little gadget of their own. The airport presented its newest worker amongst the crew; GLAdys, a 4-foot tall, state of the art robot, fit with 3 main entertainment functions, built to communicate with passengers in the main terminals over the month of December.

If you’re wondering about the name, GLAdys derives from Glasgow Airport’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) code 'GLA' and it has been given the title of Britain's first “humanoid robot airport ambassador.”

Dressed as Father Christmas for the festive month, GLAdys was able to engage in basic functions such as “sing and dance”, waving its head, arms and upper body about to various Christmas songs which it can also play. The robot was also able to recite 3 festive Christmas stories.

However, arguably the best feature, seeing as we are in the age of the “selfie”, is the GLAdy’s ability to take pictures with passengers who can then receive the image via email or printed out have shared on the airport’s social media channels.

Mark Johnston, operations director at Glasgow Airport, said “We are always looking for new and innovative ways in which we can further enhance customer experience at Glasgow and believe the introduction of GLAdys to be a first for a UK airport”
GLAdys was created as part of a push from the airport’s Digital Passenger Experience Project, which looks to investigate how customer engagement and communication can be facilitated through the use of upcoming technology.

“Last year we launched our virtual assistant, affectionately dubbed ‘Holly the Hologram’, at various points across the airport and she has since proved extremely popular with our passengers.

“GLAdys will be a fantastic addition to the terminal team and will prove to be an extremely popular feature with passengers commuting through the airport,” Mark Johnston added.

It will be interesting to see how technology will influence interaction in the future!

Want to keep up to date with all of the Glasgow Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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John Barrie - The Glasgow Airport life saver is set to retire a hero

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Page last updated: 23rd Dec 2016 - 02:24 PM

After 11 years of loyal duty, the duty safety officer at Glasgow Airport has decided he is ready to retire. John Barrie, who has more than a decade of saving lives at the busy Scottish airport under his belt, has given CPR more than 12 times while watching travellers pass through the city and even keeps in touch with those who his first class medical assistance has saved. Not all heros wear capes!

John, who turned 60 last week, said: “They haven’t all been successful but I’m proud of the fact I’ve helped to make a difference when I could.”

“I’ve carried a newspaper cutting in my wallet all the years, with the headline ‘Wife’s heart tragedy’ and tells the story of the wife of a cardiologist who died of a cardiac arrest. The point I’m making is with the greatest will in the world you can’t save everyone, but it’s important we at least try.”

Bette Simpson is 81 years old and has never met John, but she is hugely grateful for his actions towards her then aged 50 year old son, who was travelling through the airport with friends to Ireland when he suffered cardiac arrest. She said, “Scott had just turned 50 and was going to Ireland with a friend when he collapsed. John was at his side in seconds that day and performed the vital CPR that saved his life. If it hadn’t been for him my son Scott wouldn’t be here.”

Bette and John still keep in contact with text messages and Christmas cards two years later even though they have never actually met.

Bette added: “After what he did for Scott, the family wanted to do something for John, but he said he was only doing his job and it wasn’t necessary. My church hosts fundraising dances, so we arranged a hoedown and donated £600 as a way of saying thank you.” Airport chaplain’s charity was the organization that John pointed Bette towards when suggesting a thank you present, and his generosity shows though his own reward for a life saving act going directly to a charity and not himself.
“He’s a credit to the airport and I wish him well in the future.”

John was previously a fireman and worked for Maryhill and Clydebank for 28 years, again showing his loyalty, before damage to his knee forced him to retire and begin working for the new duty staff team at Glasgow Airport set up in 2005.

John works as part of a team of 5 and is responsible for fire safety and maintenance of fire safety equipment, as well as general facilities operations and first aid.

John, a dad-of-four and grandpa-of-three, said: “It’s such a unique place to work and I’ve had so many highlights in my time at Glasgow Airport. It’s safe to say I’ve dealt with almost every kind of first aid incident in my time at the airport but the one I’d always hoped for was delivering a baby.”

Despite his wife’s hate of flying, John plan to visit New York during his retirement. A poem that he wrote is on show at the wall of the New York Fire Department headquarters, as well as a bronze statue of the Citizen Firefighter outside Glasgow Central Station, accompanied by another poem written by John.

John said: “I’ll miss the staff – everyone from the cleaning staff to Amanda McMillan, the managing director. It’s such a great place to work and there’s such a buzz about the place.”

“You experience it all here and that’s what I’ll miss the most – the hustle and bustle of Glasgow Airport.”

Want to keep up to date with all of the Edinburgh Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Plans have been revealed to build a new train station on a 40 acre site near to Glasgow Airport. The new train facilities would be situated just over a mile from the airport itself and would be used to transport passengers to the terminal on a specialist track using lightweight vehicles. The train station would also feature a park and ride car park for passenger use.

The overall proposal, which is being presented as 2 different options, is being reviewed by Glasgow and Clyde Valley Cabinet. The first option, a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, could be built within a year and would cost £70-80 million to construct, whereas the second option would be to simply run trains from Glasgow Central to the airport.

Tom Johnston, chairman of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “Improved surface access to and from Glasgow Airport is vital not only for the continued success of the airport but for Renfrewshire economy.

"In my opinion, a rail link would deliver significant benefits for Renfrewshire, which would give the area’s businesses a fantastic boost and could potentially bring more jobs to the area.

A PRT-type system is already in place at Glasgow Airport. The PRT option uses well developed and proven technology and features in small automated vehicles, which can be different sizes, operating on a network of specially built lightweight guideways. “The PRT system is also quiet, comfortable, on demand, and one of the most popular systems for passengers around the airport.” - Mark Chestney

Mark Chestney, Head of Rail at Heathrow Airport, said : “The proposed PRT system for Glasgow Airport is very similar to the system at Heathrow Terminal 5 which went into full service in May 2011, taking passengers on the five-minute journey between the terminal and a 1275 space car park.

"Since the service began, the system has carried around two million passengers, has an excellent safety record and availability has been approximately 99.5%.

"The system has removed 70,000 annual bus journeys from the busy Heathrow road system, saving over 100 tonnes of C0 Emissions every year.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Glasgow Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Glasgow Airports could have a new high-speed monorail

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Page last updated: 1st Jun 2016 - 03:40 PM

Plans for a £300 monorail service between Glasgow International Airport and the Glasgow City Centre have recently been introduced by a retired engineer who also influenced the Channel Tunnel construction.

This proposal comprises a 7 and a half mile monorail, created by Jim Beckett and his brother John, aged 78 and 77. The route would stop at Renfrew, Braehead shopping centre, the Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Govan, the Riverside Museum and SECC en route to Glasgow Central and claims to be able to ease the city’s traffic congestion. The plans have taken 7 months to research and the brothers hope that transport bosses will take the proposal seriously as a superior alternative to the tram-train link. Clyde Monorail, the name of the project, would create a route where passengers can travel from start to end in 18 minutes, at up to speeds of 50mph, benefitting both airport and non-airport passengers.

Mr Beckett, from Brookfield, who lives near the Bridge of Weir, claimed that a major advantage of the monorail was that it would be elevated up to 40 metres (130ft) at various sections, causing very little traffic disruption during construction and limiting the need for compulsory purchase orders.

Jim Beckett, who designed the electrical instrumental system, UK side of the Channel Tunnel said that the current tram link “doesn’t add anything” to the infrastructure in the local area.

Speaking to The Herald, he said: “It’s heralded as the flagship project for the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal, but our contention is that that does nothing for the wider transport infrastructure because you’re limiting it to the passengers that are generated by the airport.
“If you ran it north and picked up places like Renfrew, the Braehead shopping centre, the Queen Elizabeth hospital, the transport museum, and the SECC, then you are going to generate an awful lot more business for it.
“People coming from the centre of Glasgow to the Queen Elizabeth hospital can jump on the monorail.”

“If someone is going from Glasgow Airport to the BBC, they can jump on the monorail, get off at the SECC, cross the bridge and they’re at Pacific Quay - or the Science Centre, the STV studios, the Armadillo.”
He added: “There is much more traffic generated by this proposal than would ever be generated by the tram-train airport link.”

Want to keep up to date with all of the Glasgow Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Glasgow Airport celebrates it’s 50th Birthday!

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Page last updated: 5th May 2016 - 11:52 AM

It was congratulations all round for Glasgow Airport on Monday (02/05/16) as they celebrated 50 years since the day they opened. With new routes to Jamaica and Cape Verde recently announced, the airport’s success is definitely something to shout about.

As a way of marking the Milestone Birthday, the airport decided to recreate the first time a plane ever landed at the airport. The plane was a six seater Piper Cherokee and the man in charge was Capt. Kenneth Foster. This venture into the airport actually took place on 1st May 1966, the day before the airport officially opened because Capt. Foster wanted to check everything was in order for the first commercial flights the following day. He wrote: “We found a few of the approach lights were not accurately aligned and required adjustment by the contractors…”. With the issues fixed, “a ministry car drove along the runway to check that any incoming flights could land on “the pristine runway”.

With Glasgow Airport receiving continuing support from Loganair, Icelandair and Aer Lingus, among many others, the airport has seen “significant progress over the years”, the former Loganair chairman, Scott Grier, told BBC News.

The Chief Executive of Glasgow Airport, Amanda McMillan, said: “It started with just three airlines, and now we have over 30, flying to over 110 destinations”, to which she also added that they “support more than 7,000 jobs” meaning it has a huge impact on Scotland as a whole. We are so excited to see what Glasgow Airport can achieve in the next 50 years.

If you would like to tell us your about experience at Glasgow Airport, leave us a comment!

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Glasgow is set to have a record year and beat 2006!

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Page last updated: 14th Jan 2016 - 10:59 AM

Glasgow Airport have recently been celebrating their largest percentage increase in annual passenger numbers. Good news is that the numbers are expecting to increase and top previous records set in 2006 to become the busiest record on year for Glasgow Airport.

Currently celebrating it’s 50th birthday, Glasgow Airport has revealed that the total number of passengers reached 8.71 million in 2015 which was a 13% increase on the previous year and forecasts that 2016 will be its busiest year. Amanda McMillan, the Managing Director of Glasgow Airport claims that to fulfill these targets, they would need anything more than 8.83 million passengers, a record set back in 2006 before the large recession and financial crisis.

The good news doesn’t stop there! The airport also recorded a 16.8% increase on the previous year for international passengers travelling out of Glasgow which hit 4.61 million in 2015. Glasgow Airport attributed a lot of their success over the last 12 months to 30 new routes and services, better connections to major cities, and strengthening its position as a long-haul provider. Other great achievements in 2015 included; domestic passenger numbers totalling 4.1 million (9% increase on 2014) and passenger numbers in December reaching 569,411 (10.1% increase on December 2014.)

Amanda McMillan went on to emphase that “2016 marks the airport’s 50th anniversary and we are determined to ensure this year makes the history books” and that…. “We remain focused on delivering more success in the year ahead.”

For more information regarding Glasgow and other UK airports check out @Airport_Guides for all of our updates!

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Glasgow best for short security queues

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Page last updated: 20th Aug 2014 - 03:37 PM

Standing in long queues at security is a major bugbear for any airport user, particularly for families travelling in the school holidays. Perhaps we should all move north of the border because Glasgow Airport has recently been revealed as the gold standard when it comes to clearing security quickly.

A survey was carried out on seven major UK airports by the Civil Aviation Authority, during which time 27,000 passengers had their say. The airports surveyed were London’s Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, Scotland’s Edinburgh and Glasgow, plus Manchester.

The average wait to pass through security screening at Glasgow was a mere 3.3 minutes, as compared with 6 minutes at fellow Scottish airport Edinburgh, and 9 minutes at Stansted.

99.6% of Glasgow passengers waited less than 10 minutes and 97.3% less than 5 minutes. At Stansted only 80% of passengers clear security in under 10 minutes.

The length of time that screening takes depends on the number of passengers having to remove items such as jackets and belts, as well of course as the number of items of luggage needing to be screened, to say nothing of the number of travellers who, years on, still seem to be confused about the restriction on taking liquids through security!

Glasgow Airport has invested millions of pounds on security after an attempted terrorist attack in 2007 when a jeep, packed with explosives, was driven at the terminal building. A new hub was opened a year later and in 2012 Glasgow was the first airport in the country to introduce a state-of-the-art scanning system for boarding passes.

The good news for Glasgow comes a month after it recorded its busiest July for 6 years, due in part to the Commonwealth Games.

The airport hit the news again this week with the announcement of four new routes to Prague, Antalya in Turkey, Malta and Larnaca in Cyprus.

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The BAA urges tax rethink

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Page last updated: 30th Jun 2011 - 02:48 PM

The BAA, owner of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen airports, has called for Westminster to surrender aviation tax control to Holyrood, the seat of the Scottish Government. The move, which has also drawn the support of Infratil, the company behind Prestwick Airport, would allow MPs to control the value of Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland.

APD costs Scotland £77m in lost tourism every year, according to the BAA. The much-maligned tax has been criticised by Sir Richard Branson, Ryanair chief, Michael O’Leary, travel organisation ABTA, and “more than half” of all long-haul travellers, who say that APD will eventually make regular flights unfeasible. Adding to APD's list of detractors are Thomson, Jet2, and UK flag-carrying airline, British Airways.

Jet2 boss, Philip Meeson, claims that the government is "hell bent" on ruining the summer holiday season for British travellers.

Critics believe that the Coalition doesn’t fully appreciate the impact of APD on the tourism industry or that the lucrative levy is blinding cash-strapped MPs to the consequences of heavy taxation. The latter point is perhaps best demonstrated via an article in the Independent, which notes that MPs have recently consulted on a further rise to APD. Scotland’s annual loses could potentially hit (and surpass) the £110m mark, if the motion is passed.

Edinburgh Airport chief, Kevin Brown, said that Scotland is not looking for an ‘easy ride’, regarding aviation taxes. “We are not saying we should not be taxed, only that any taxation is fair and proportionate." Mr. Brown’s counterpart at Glasgow Airport, Amanda McMillan, was concerned that APD could force airlines to spurn Scottish airports, in favour of hubs that are not subjected to the “continued rise in APD”, such as those in Holland and Belgium.

Scotland’s location in Europe means that air travel is particularly important in forging links with major economic centres on the continent, such as Brussels and Frankfurt. However, the country is presently losing millions of passengers to APD, alleged to be one of the highest transport taxes on the planet.

APD generates £2bn a year for Westminster. The figure could increase by 50% (to £3bn) over the next few years, if Virgin Atlantic chief, Sir Richard Branson is to be believed.

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Jet2 to expand at Glasgow - again

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Page last updated: 20th Jun 2011 - 02:35 PM

Jet2’s seemingly endless potential for expansion has resulted in the creation of eight new routes at Glasgow Airport since April 2011. Now, just two months after the Yorkshire carrier launched its first flight from the Abbotsinch hub, Jet2 has announced that it will add a further five new destinations from Glasgow, beginning in March 2012.

The airline, which has also expanded its services at East Midlands and Manchester airports, celebrated its latest investment by creating a new – and rather odd – dish, the haggis paella. Whether the culinary ‘experiment’ whetted the appetite of local travellers is debatable, but Jet2 claims to have already sold 150,000 seats on its summer 2012 flights.

Flights to Barcelona, Malaga, and Murcia in mainland Spain, and Ibiza in the Balearic Islands will begin next year, with one-way travel costing in the region of £29.99. Jet2 will fly to Barcelona three times a week, while Murcia and Malaga will be served two and four times a week, respectively. A weekly flight to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands will take off at the same time, albeit at the slightly higher price of £49.99.

Jet2’s fifth new route from Glasgow, Ibiza, will begin in May 2012, operating on a twice-weekly basis for the duration of the summer season. Tickets begin at £39.99.

“There’s no doubt this is an exciting time for us at Glasgow Airport”, said Jet2 chief, Ian Doubtfire. “We’re really pleased with bookings so far. The feedback from passengers (has been) very positive.”

Mr. Doubtfire indicated that capacity would improve by 20% on existing routes from Glasgow to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Faro in Portugal, Alicante in Spain, and to Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea. The extra seats, in tandem with Jet2’s new routes, have been welcomed in Glasgow. Local Councillor, Gordon Matheson, referred to the airline’s expansion as “great news”, while Francois Bourienne, chief at Glasgow Airport, said that Jet2 “should be congratulated”.

Jet2 currently offers 13 routes from Glasgow, including a trans-Atlantic flight to New York.

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