20 Feb 2006
Glasgow Prestwick Airport January 2006 traffic figures have been posted on the Infratil website.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
Total passenger numbers for January 2006 were up 3% on the prior year at 145,492. Year to date passenger numbers were 11% up on the prior year at 2,054,303.
The Boeing strike has resulted in Ryanair having a shortage
of aircraft necessitating a cut in capacity across their network to enable new routes which were launched on the assumption of the additional aircraft deliveries. During the month of January 17,577 Prestwick seats were cancelled and a further 23,000 seats have been cancelled in February. It is not expected that March cancellations will be of the same scale as the prior two months.
Ryanair has also reduced frequencies for the winter schedule (1 November to 25 March) on Luebeck, Niederrhein, Pisa, Gothenburg, Oslo and Stockholm.
Freight volumes were poor at 1,631,000 kg for the month, 30% down on the prior year (YTD down 15% on FY2005). These results were impacted by a number of seasonal cancellations
in the first half of the month which would normally have contributed over 600,000 kg. The performance was also significantly impacted by the cancellation of one of the four weekly Polar flights. However this has been replaced from 18 February with a new routing from New York, via Glasgow Prestwick, to Malmo in Sweden.
The retail performance is expected to significantly improve
with the handover of the in-house tax and duty free operation to Nuance from 31 March. This relationship has the potential to deliver benefits across all airports in which Infratil has interests.
Kent International Airport
Kent Escapes, a charter product offering both package and seat only services from Kent to Barcelona and Faro was launched on 1 February. The offer at this stage is a single weekly service to each destination for a 26 week period from 25 May. If this initial offering sells well, additional services may be added. Kent Escapes is a new brand of Seguro Holidays which has a large charter program from Glasgow Prestwick. This is further evidence of Group development synergies.
Freight volumes at Kent were 1,388 tonnes, consistent with recent months. The main contributor remains the three weekly scheduled MK Airlines services.
The Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer record breaking flight by Steve Fossett was planned to land in Kent on 11 February. Large numbers of national and international press gathered at the airport. In the event, the aircraft had a mechanical problem and was forced to land at Bournemouth Airport. However, the record had already been broken and Steve Fossett quickly transferred to Kent International in a private aircraft with Richard Branson to meet the press and receive confirmation of the record. Hosting this event provided valuable general exposure of the airport's name and capability.
Total passenger numbers were up 11% on the prior year at around 50,000. Year to date passenger numbers were 20% up on the prior year at around 672,000. Work continues on the implementation of a number of initiatives, particularly related to commercial areas, to improve services, boost turnover and improve margins.
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