New passenger figures from Aberdeen International Airport (AIA) yesterday show a long-awaited recovery in March was short-lived.
But while the total number of travellers using the north-east terminal during April fell slightly to 251,851, from 254,848 a year ago, there were increases for both domestic and international fixed wing flights.
The overall year-on-year drop was driven by a sharp fall in North Sea helicopter business, with the oil and gas downturn causing a 17.4% slump in its tally for last month.
Domestic and international fixed wing business was up 2% and 0.5% respectively, due partly to the introduction of some new routes.
Ryanair’s direct flights to the Spanish cities of Malaga and Alicante and Flybe’s new service to London Heathrow boosted numbers.
In recent weeks the airport has further expanded its route network with the launch of Air Baltic’s direct summer service to the Latvian capital of Riga and a third new summer route new from Ryanair to Faro in Portugal.
AIA managing director Carol Benzie said: “It is extremely encouraging to see our international and domestic traffic perform well.
“We have added nine new routes over the course of the past year and this has contributed to us seeing a slow but steady increase in fixed wing passengers.
“Last month, our route development team attended the annual Routes Europe conference in Belfast – along with more than 100 airlines – and we have received encouraging feedback which we will follow-up on.”
She added: “There remains a real opportunity for leisure and city break capacity at Aberdeen.
“We have demonstrated that, with strong performance on the routes that we’ve launched over the past 12 months, and we’ll continue to present our business cases.
“We are also making real progress on our terminal redevelopment works and the initial phase of our new international arrivals area will open on May 30.
“The work we have been carrying out will have a transformational effect on the airport and it will ultimately provide passengers, airlines and the city with an airport they can all be proud of.”
Figures for Edinburgh Airport showed 1,141,823 people passed through its doors last month, the capital terminal’s busiest April to date and up 13% year-on-year.
Glasgow Airport also reported its busiest April on record, with more than 786,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, UK industry body the Airport Operators Association (AOA) released its general election manifesto yesterday.
It calls for “an aviation strategy that supports sustainable airport growth across the country”.
AOA also wants the need for new rules for UK aviation after Brexit to be treated as a priority and to make sure immigration at airports is “secure but welcoming”.