8 May 2003
UP, UP AND AWAY! GLASGOW PRESTWICK REACHES 1.5 MILLION PASSENGERS MILESTONE
airport now has more direct scheduled services to European destinations than Glasgow Abbotsinch and Edinburgh put together
Figures released today (Thursday 8 May 2003) show that, for the twelve months ending 30 April 2003, over 1.5m passengers used Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, representing an increase of 15.2% compared to the previous year.
Managing Director Tom Wilson said: "The amazing transformation at Glasgow Prestwick is underlined by today's announcement. We are Scotland's fastest-growing airport with more direct scheduled services to European destinations than BAA's Glasgow and Edinburgh airports put together. That's because we offer a unique formula of low fares, direct services and easy access."
April broke all previous records for Glasgow Prestwick, with passenger numbers up 25.3% on April last year.
Mr Wilson added: "The figures were boosted by new four routes from Globespan - to Palma, Nice, Rome and Malaga and from Ryanair with their new routes to Bournemouth and Stockholm.
"I expect our phenomenal growth to continue with more new routes commencing this month. Ryanair starts its hugely popular new route to Barcelona and Aer Arann starts flying to the Isle of Man. Both services will significantly boost our numbers.
"At this rate we will break through the two million barrier in the coming twelve months, and get to four million passengers in the next five years."
Glasgow Prestwick is the only Scottish airport to have its own railway station, and Mr Wilson believes the airport's success is due in large part to its rail connection. More than 5500 passengers use the airport every day, with over 30% travelling to or from the airport by train, taking advantage of a 50% discount offer for rail travel throughout Scotland.
"We shall continue to campaign vigorously for more rail services between the airport and Glasgow Central station. We need improvements in capacity, frequency and operating hours to support our growth.
"These improvements are needed for Ayrshire and are fully recognised and supported by Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire, the three Ayrshire councils, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Ayrshire Economic Forum."
Eddie Friel, Chief Executive of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board, said: "I'm delighted to see the impressive growth at Glasgow Prestwick.
"The combination of the low cost scheduled routes from Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Italy plus the rail link deliver valued tourists to both the City of Glasgow and West/Central Scotland.
"The Tourist Board has worked very successfully in partnership with Glasgow Prestwick to encourage inbound tourism. We pledge our full support to any new routes and airlines that consider operating to and from Glasgow Prestwick."
Glasgow Prestwick is owned by a consortium controlled by Infratil. Infratil, a specialist investor in infrastructure and utility assets, owns airports in New Zealand and Europe and has electricity and port investments in New Zealand. Others in the consortium are also long term investors in airports - Special Utilities Investment Trust ('SUIT') and Omniport plc.
© Copyright Infratil