Birmingham Airport in the UK has reported a 10.6 percent passenger increase for January, compared to a year ago, as holidaymakers took the opportunity to escape the wet and windy January weather for sunny shores.
This is the first time that the airport has experienced double digit growth since December 2005. In total, 549,489 travellers passed through the airport in January, and long-haul traffic saw a major rise of 23.8 percent compared to January 2013.
Several of the scheduled short-haul services registered significant growth; Chambery at 233.6 percent, Fuerteventura at 175.6 percent, Waterford at 127.9 percent, Arrecife at 123.2 percent, Madeira at 113.3 percent, Stuttgart at 106.9 percent, and Milan at 73.8 percent.
The charter flights that experienced double digit growth in January were Barbados (55.1 percent) and Mexico (17.9 percent).
Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s chief executive, said: ‘These January figures show that more and more people are realising the benefits of using Birmingham as an alternative to other airports to fly for business and leisure.
‘This is a great start to 2014 and we look forward to offering even more choice this year as several new routes are launched and extra capacity is made available on key routes.’
The split between scheduled and charter flights in January was 88.6 percent scheduled and 11.4 percent charter.
The report comes as Flybe, a UK-based regional airline, unveiled a major expansion of its operations at Birmingham Airport with the announcement of ‘Magnificent Seven’ new routes and an extra three jet aircraft, with over 1.7 million seats on sale for the summer.
The seven new routes includes a six times weekly service to Florence, a new destination for the airport; daily flights to Cologne; a six times a week service to Toulouse; a five times a week service to Alicante and four times a week to Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto.
To support the ‘Magnificent Seven’ routes, Flybe is also bringing three of its Embraer 175 jets to the airport, thereby creating its biggest ever regional base with 12 aircraft, as well as creating more than 50 new Flybe jobs.