Edinburgh Airport installs brand new soft-play areas

Edinburgh Airport has installed two brand new soft-play areas, to make waiting time easier for passengers flying with young children.

The new child-friendly zones are part of a wider project aimed at transforming Edinburgh Airport into not just Scotland’s busiest airport, but Scotland’s most child-friendly airport.

The zones, located opposite Gate 2 and in the south-east pier beside Gate 15, are now open and are intended to make transiting the airport a little less stressful for passengers travelling with children.

John Watson, chief commercial officer at Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘As we grow we have the opportunity to improve the experience for all of our passengers, including our youngest fliers. These free soft-play areas will allow children to run around and unwind in a safe environment before boarding their flight while their parents relax and supervise.

‘These areas are part of a wider project which will see a much bigger children’s play area created in our departure lounge and sponsored by one of our airline partners later this year. Like our new valet parking offer and special kids meal deals in the terminal, the investment in free play areas shows how the team is working hard to make sure our smallest passengers and their family have a great time.’

Fully equipped with padded steps, tunnels and other fun obstacles, the new play areas are designed in accordance with strict health and safety guidance. All play areas will be frequently inspected by the Play Inspection Company Ltd to carry out independent safety inspections.

The kid zones have been designed in collaboration with SPI Global Play, a company that has designed and built Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) for over 40-years.

Scandinavian Airlines announces new Edinburgh – Norway route

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is set to introduce two new services to Norway from next April offering more options to Scottish business and leisure travellers.

SAS will operate twice-weekly services, on a Thursday and Sunday, from Edinburgh to Oslo and Stavanger from April 10 until October 05, increasing connectivity between Scotland and Norway and enhancing onward travel options to more destinations in northern Europe.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive at Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘Norway is an important trade and business link for Scotland and we’re delighted to be working with SAS in developing this further.

‘Expanding our route network is one of our top priorities and we’re pleased to be introducing these new flights to allow Scots the opportunity to visit this beautiful country.

‘Next year will be hugely exciting for Scotland. We’re looking forward to welcoming our Norwegian passengers and giving them a taste of all that Scotland has to offer in 2014.’

Scotland is preparing to welcome the world with a programme of events in 2014 that includes the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and a second Year of Homecoming.

Hans Dyhrfort, SAS’ Regional General Manager Western Europe, said: ‘We are pleased to offer new summer services direct to both Oslo and Stavanger and provide a direct flight to Norway, the fjords, and Scandinavia.

‘For any business travellers wishing to travel during this period, we offer the convenience of direct flights to either Oslo or Stavanger, with onward flights to many other Norwegian destinations.’

Scandinavian Airlines or SAS, previously Scandinavian Airlines System, is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and the largest airline in Scandinavia.

Headquartered at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sigtuna, Sweden, the airline operates 182 aircraft to 90 destinations. The airline’s main hubs are at Copenhagen-Kastrup Airport, Oslo-Gardermoen Airport, and Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

Edinburgh Airport registers most successful six months on record

Edinburgh Airport had more passengers travelling through it last month than any other previous October on record, topping off the busiest six months ever for the airport.

A total of 917,437 people passed through the airport last month, a rise of 8.7 percent compared to October 2012. Domestic figures were up by 4.6 percent, with 428,064 passengers, while international registered an increase of over 11 percent with 489,373 people travelling through the airport. The moving annual total for the 12 months ending October 2013 was 9.66 million passengers.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘Since May, we’ve welcomed almost six million passengers through our doors. Edinburgh and Scotland continue to remain places where people want to visit for work or leisure and we’re delighted to play our part as one of the main gateways to our country.

‘We can only do this with hard work and collaboration. This is a team game and it’s more important than ever that we work together to make sure every visitor to Edinburgh has the best experience possible.

‘Having recently announced a number of fantastic new routes for next year and with work now underway on our EAST Expansion project, we’re excited for the future and look forward to entering a new phase for the airport.’

The airport said last month that Scottish passengers would have more choice for their summer holidays next year, after easyJet announced the return of flights from Edinburgh to Crete and Turkey from spring 2014.

Under the plan, easyJet will be operating twice weekly services to Bodrum in Turkey from March 31, and Heraklion in Crete from April 01, 2014.

John Watson, chief commercial officer at Edinburgh Airport, said, ‘It has been a great year for Edinburgh Airport and easyJet so far, with the airline launching six new European services from Edinburgh in March and the airport experiencing its busiest summer on record. We’re pleased we can add these destinations to our growing route network.’

Edinburgh Airport improves on punctuality

Edinburgh airport – Scotland’s busiest airport – has improved on punctuality and had the least delays on record during this spring, The Scotsman has reported, citing data from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

For scheduled flights, Edinburgh reduced the average delay by one minute to eight minutes in April to June as compared to last year. A total of 86 per cent of flights operated within the industry’s punctuality standard of up to 15 minutes delay – an increase of two percentage points. The percentage is reportedly the airport’s highest for the season since CAA records began 15 years ago.

However, the punctuality of Edinburgh’s charter flights declined from 76 per cent to 62 per cent, with average delays increasing from 19 to 33 minutes. Only about two per cent of its passengers travelled on such flights, the airport said.

‘The team at Edinburgh airport is committed to giving our passengers the best service possible, and punctuality is an important component in this,’ a spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said. ‘It takes a lot of collaboration, co-ordination and dedication to get it right and we’re pleased to see we’re getting it right most of the time. ‘We’ll continue to work hard to make sure that this trend continues.’

Meanwhile, at Glasgow airport, scheduled flight punctuality improved by one percentage point to 84 per cent, with average delays down by one minute to ten minutes. The charter flight punctuality was unchanged at 76 per cent, with average delays increasing by four minutes to 22 minutes.

The spring – April to June – punctuality figures come as Edinburgh and Glasgow airports celebrated a record-breaking summer.

Passengers at Edinburgh increased by 10.6 per cent in August to nearly 1.04 million compared to last year. Glasgow’s August total was up by six per cent to 746,000.

Edinburgh airport chief executive, Gordon Dewar, said: ‘What a summer we’ve had. We were over the moon to see 1m passengers in July, but to report the same record-breaking milestone in August is fantastic. I also want to recognise the hard work of my team, our airlines, business partners and handling agents throughout this very busy time.’

Galsgow airport managing director, Amanda McMillan, said: ‘We enjoyed an extremely busy summer with more than 125,000 additional passengers using the airport during June, July and August compared to same period last year.

Not only was it our busiest summer in five years, it was one of our best in terms of operational performance. ‘Despite the significant increase in numbers and a host of large scale events, 99.4 per cent of our passengers passed through security in less than ten minutes during the summer months.’

Edinburgh, Glasgow Airports register busiest July

Edinburgh and Glasgow airports have reported one of their busiest months ever for July.

In July, Edinburgh Airport reported the busiest month ever recorded, with over one million people travelling through the airport, a rise of 13.1 percent on the previous year. Scotland’s busiest airport passed the million-passenger mark in late July, seeing a total of 1,082,938 passengers using the terminal.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘We’re over the moon with this achievement and is testament not only to the hard work of all at Edinburgh Airport – my team, our airlines and handling agents and other partners – but to the real culture shift that has happened since the airport was bought by GIP last summer.

‘Handling over a million passengers in a month is difficult and it has been challenging. We’ve had the equivalent of the population of Stirling through our doors every day. It’s a challenge we relish and we’re looking forward to being challenged in this way on a regular basis,’ he added.

Edinburgh’s international traffic increased by 13.3 percent year on year to 634,496 in July 2013, while its domestic traffic increased by 12.8 percent year on year t0 448,442. The annual total passenger figure for the year since August 2012 is currently 9.4 million, which is the highest ever for the airport.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Airport said it that has enjoyed the busiest July in five years, with over 832,000 travellers, representing an increase of 5.4 percent compared to its passenger traffic in July 2012.

Glasgow’s international traffic contributed to a 3.7 percent increase following a strong demand from holidaymakers and solid performance of its several long haul routes. Domestic traffic increased by 8 percent, benefited mainly by the performance of British Airways’ London routes and Flybe’s UK regional services.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: ‘The summer season is always a busy time for the airport but there has been a marked increase in the number of people choosing to fly from Glasgow over the course of the past two months.

‘We have enjoyed consistent passenger growth since January 2011 which underlines the progress we are making in terms of securing new routes and services. It is particularly pleasing to see our domestic traffic perform so well and with Glasgow hosting events such as the World Pipe Band Championships and UDO World Street Dancing Championship, we are looking forward to a busy August.’

Glasgow Airport is continuing with its £17 million investment programme as it prepares to become the gateway to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

EasyJet to Expand Services from Edinburgh Airport

Easyjet, a budget airline based at Luton in the UK, is implementing a major expansion plan for its hub at Edinburgh Airport, in Scotland.

The airline’s expansion project includes the addition of two more aircraft to the airport hub, increasing the number of planes based there to seven.

Hugh Aitken, the airline head for Scotland, said, ‘The decision to base a further two aircraft in Edinburgh is testament to the importance of Scotland to easyJet’s operation. The new management team at Edinburgh Airport fully understands the importance of growth and connectivity for the airport and Scotland as a whole.

The arrival of the two new aircraft from December will deliver over 180,000 new seats. We are asking key partners to work with us to determine which new destinations to launch and look forward to working with Edinburgh Airport and others over the coming month to finalise our plans.’

The initial Airbus A319 is arriving on December 2, 2012, while the second plane will be operating from March 2013. With the two new aircraft, the airline will be able to offer more routes and around 180,000 new seats for travellers annually. The new aircraft will also add around 100 new jobs to the local economy.

Gordon Dewar, the chief executive officer, Edinburgh Airport, said, ‘Today’s announcement from easyJet is hugely significant for Edinburgh Airport. It demonstrates that we are willing to do business with airlines that are ambitious for growth and delivering great service for their passengers. Our partnership with easyJet is based on these central values and we’re looking forward to working with them in bringing planes and new routes to Scotland.’

BAA Announces Sale of Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partnership

BAA Ltd, the owner and operator of six British airports, has announced its decision to sell Edinburgh Airport in Scotland, to Global Infrastructure Partnership, a real estate infrastructure investment fund that already has Gatwick and London City airports in its portfolio.

The company is selling its 100 percent stake in the airport for £807 million, in a deal expected to close in May 2012. Edinburgh Airport has handled 9.3 million passengers in 2011, and generated gross earnings of £48.3m for the 2011 period.

After the sale of the airport, the company will still retain ownership of Heathrow, Stansted, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports in the UK.

Colin Matthews, the company chief executive officer, said, ‘Edinburgh Airport and its team have been part of BAA for a long time and we are proud of its achievements. We wish the new owners every success and are confident the airport will continue to flourish. BAA will continue to focus on improving passengers’ journeys at Heathrow and its other airports.’

Adebayo Ogunlesi, the chairman and managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partnership, said, ‘Edinburgh Airport is a high quality infrastructure asset. We see significant opportunity to apply our tested and successful operational expertise and our knowledge of the global airports sector to develop and enhance the performance of Edinburgh Airport in years to come.’

The company has sold Edinburgh Airport, as recommended by the UK Competition Commission, after considering a decision to sell either the Edinburgh or Stansted airports to improve competition in the UK aviation industry.