Glasgow Airport has been handed a wooden spoon, after being placed last in the British Airport Authority’s (BAA) monthly traffic table. The Scottish facility has lost close to 1.4m customers over the past two years, effectively ending the airport’s chances of avoiding the saleroom.
When the credit crunch demolished the XL Leisure Company in September 2008, Manchester, Gatwick, and Glasgow airports lost a major holiday provider. Since then, the package holiday industry has been in freefall.
In August, Windsor and Neate, a cruise company based in Newbury, collapsed. The Grim Reaper then came for the Package Holiday Company, a Leeds-based endeavour, and local Glaswegian firm, Cambuslang Travel, a few days later.
With a local company and a major carrier pushing up the daisies, Glasgow Airport was stricken, losing 13.4% of its passengers in just one month.
Overall, the BAA’s seven airports experienced a 5% drop in customer traffic during August 2009. Fifty miles east of Glasgow, Edinburgh Airport enjoyed a 4.8% rise in passenger numbers, due in part to the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe, and the establishment of a new Ryanair base at the site.
A spokesperson for the BAA was quick to boast about the airport’s successes: "With five consecutive months of rising passenger numbers, Edinburgh is one of the few UK airports currently enjoying a period of growth.”
The BAA’s joy could be short-lived, however. In October, the Competition Commission could force the firm to sell one of its Scottish airports, further dismantling the BAA’s monopoly over UK aerospace.
A legal tussle has pushed any prospective sale back to 2012, but with Glasgow’s business model going down the tubes, the airport may find itself flying a new flag within the next five years.