16 Aug 2006
Infratil Airports Europe July 2006 traffic figures have been posted on the Infratil website.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
In response to the international security initiatives, the additional security measures from 10 August were introduced
at Glasgow Prestwick with only modest disruption. Three cancelled flights on the first day and one on the second were all caused by aircraft not arriving from other airports. Delays have been minimal. This position, which contrasts to the severe disruption at many large airports, was a result of the uncongested facilities, simple processes and the airport's direct control over all processing and security processes. All staff, including administration staff and management, have worked tirelessly
to ensure the airport has operated as smoothly as possible.
Ryanair's use of regional and smaller airports appears to have resulted in it being less affected by the changes than most other airlines, with Ryanair's main disruption occurring through its London Stansted hub.
July 2006 was Glasgow Prestwick's busiest ever month with overall passenger traffic totalling 266,377, a 1% increase on the prior year. This was despite the first Friday of the summer holidays falling at the end of June this year, although this factor partly explains the year on year reduction in charter numbers by 21% to 28,269.
Freight volumes, totalling 2,415,948kg, were 3% down on the prior year, with strong loads on Cargolux and Panalpina
flights. Last July included additional cargo flights related to the G8 (boosting volumes by around 8%), so the underlying level is an increase on the prior year. The major customers have maintained constant flight schedules for many months now, with volumes fluctuating only as a result of varying loads, occasional operational overflights
and the volume of ad-hoc flights from other carriers.
Protest activity by an anti-nuclear group during early August was directed towards flights that were believed to be carrying dangerous goods to Israel. Supply flights to Israel were redirected to military bases, while the normal number of other 'tech stops' have continued. The security issues around these protests attracted a lot of media attention, but management, authorities and customers are comfortable that Glasgow Prestwick's security has remained sound.
Nuance opened its expanded airside tax and duty free store at the end of July. This is allowing new and expanded ranges of skincare and cosmetics, sunglasses and fashion that are expected to boost sales. Peckham's opened its landside retail unit, and the store's produce is proving popular with passengers and staff. Starbucks continues to trade strongly, showing the benefits of the retail strategy
of introducing strong local and international brands.
Kent International Airport
July was KIA's strongest month since acquisition with good specialised passenger traffic and strong freight movements.
Passenger numbers for July totalled 6,417. The World Airways flight series to and from the US accounts for roughly two thirds of the total, adding to the Kent Escapes
The new security measures apply equally at KIA, but have been easily applied given the low passenger throughput.
Total freight volume for July was 1,526,843kg - the airport's best performance since the seasonally high months
of October and November last year. The 13 scheduled MK flights had seasonally reduced loads (strong growing season
in the UK reduces import demand). DAS Air had 8 movements, four of which carried freight, with the others positioning for minor maintenance. EgyptAir Cargo has also now started using the Airport with single flights in the first two weeks of August.
Overall passenger traffic for July was 76,196, which is a 6% increase on the prior year. The rise is due mainly to the introduction of new routes to Gdansk and Dublin by Wizz
and Ryanair respectively, offset by reduced charter traffic
year on year.
Car parks were at capacity for substantial periods of July. A new car parking price structure was introduced on 1 August to boost income, encourage use of the long term car park and manage demand.
A legal case in which Air Berlin is alleging illegal support for Ryanair was partly decided in early August. The
details of the decision are being considered, but it does not appear to have any major implications for Infratil's ownership as the Airport now has a transparent aeronautical
charging schedule and is majority privately owned. The case
has been running since well before Infratil acquired its
interest in Lübeck Airport.
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