Glasgow Airport is enjoying its third consecutive month of growth, due in part to the arrival of Yorkshire-based airline, Jet2. The carrier has introduced routes from the Scottish hub to seven destinations, with an eighth due to begin operating later this year.
According to the Evening Times, a Scottish newspaper, the number of people choosing to fly from Glasgow Airport increased by 11,298 in March 2011, to 485,198 travellers. Demand for international flights climbed by 3.2%, while the popularity of domestic routes was up 2% over the figures for the same month last year. The news paints a defiant picture of Glasgow, which recently had to contend with the loss of a BMI route to Heathrow Airport in London. The cancellation, said airport boss, Amanda McMillan, was “offset” by the arrival of Jet2.
The budget carrier has begun flying from Glasgow to Alicante in Spain, Majorca in the Balearic Islands, Faro in Portugal, and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Routes to Nice in France, Dalaman in Turkey, and Paphos in Cyprus have also been added by the silver and red airline, while a winter service to Geneva in Switzerland will start on December 23 2011.
Jet2’s director, Ian Doubtfire, referred to recent developments in Glasgow as “very exciting”. Mr. Doubtfire noted that the airline had spent two years planning for the expansion, and six months hiring 150 new employees, including pilots. The Yorkshire carrier has also begun preparations for a second expansion at Glasgow during 2012, which could create even more employment opportunities in the Scottish city.
Glasgow City Councillor, Gordon Matheson, was keen to attract foreign business to the region, saying “there are passengers from Nice who are flying to Glasgow for either a weekend break or business purposes. This is great for the economy and a great boost for the airport".
Jet2 expects 300,000 people to use the new Glasgow routes during summer 2011.