Edinburgh Airport Launches Route Development Fund

Scotland’s Edinburgh Airport this week announced the launch of a new £15 million route development fund, to drive competition and bring new airlines and new routes to the country’s capital city.  Speaking to an audience of Scottish business leaders at a Scottish Council for Development and Industry event on January 24, 2013, Airport Chief Executive Officer, Gordon Dewar announced the creation of the fund and his desire to bring Edinburgh’s public and private sector together to promote the capital and the airport around the world.

Since taking ownership of Edinburgh Airport in June 2012, the new airport management team, with the support of owners Global Infrastructure Partners, has prioritised the development of Edinburgh’s route network.  New agreements have been reached with easyJet and Ryanair, a new Turkish Airlines route to Istanbul is flourishing, according to Dewar, and Brussels Airlines, Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic have all announced new routes.  These successes mean that Edinburgh Airport will offer Scottish passengers choice from an unprecedented 130 routes this summer.

It is widely understood that developing new routes cannot be left solely to the airport and Edinburgh Airport is clear that there is a role for the city’s public and private sector to play.  Recent experience says that airlines value support from civic and business leaders, which provides additional market confidence at the beginning of a new route and which can often be the single factor that determines whether airlines serve a particular destination or go elsewhere.

Edinburgh Airport will therefore be working closely with city partners: the Council, the Chamber of Commerce and others to explore how we work collaboratively to promote Edinburgh to the world’s airlines.  "Creating new routes in and out of Edinburgh Airport is one of our core activities. We came to Edinburgh last summer focused on building Scotland’s connections with the world. The deals with easyJet and Ryanair alone will see almost 16 million passengers pass through Edinburgh Airport over the next five years,” said Dewar. 

"But we are hungry for more success, and will work hard to take business from other Scottish airports and from our European competitors. To fuel that competitive effort, we will invest £15 million a year underwriting new direct routes for Edinburgh, sharing the commercial risk with airlines; it is simply putting our money where our mouth is,” he added.

Edinburgh Airport believes the network development fund will send a powerful message to international airlines.  “We’re going to be the place where Scotland meets the world so [airlines] come here and we will work harder than anybody else to deliver you long-term success.  We can’t do this alone but be in no doubt, we will lead on the commercial deal, but any business with a significant stake in a new route should be thinking: how can I potentially make a difference?” said Dewar. 

"In the coming weeks and months, we will approach city businesses to listen. We want to know which markets are important and what the value might be to Edinburgh, and those individual businesses, or new routes into Europe, the Middle East or North America.  I am confident that Edinburgh Airport will grow and our route network will soon be the envy of many European airports.  We will compete hard and we will compete fairly; importantly, we’ll do that as one team and one city," he added.

Details of the route development strategy are expected to be announced over coming months as the £15 million fund is targeted.  In the table below we highlight the top 20 O&D markets from Edinburgh during 2011 and the airlines that served those destinations during the calendar year.  According to our data, Edinburgh Airport passengers travelled to or arrived from 1,160 different destinations across the globe during 2011.  The main traffic flows are on domestic routes or traditional Continental European city break and leisure destinations.

TOP TEN O&D MARKETS FROM EDINBURGH AIRPORT (bi-directional O&D passengers; 2011)

Rank

Destination

O&D Passengers

% Total Demand

Airline Operators

1

London Heathrow (LHR)

864,474

9.1 %

Bmi, British Airways

2

London Gatwick (LGW)

620,044

6.5 %

British Airways, easyJet

3

London Stansted (STN)

436,193

4.6 %

easyJet

4

Dublin (DUB)

410,856

4.3 %

Aer Lingus, Ryanair

5

London City (LCY)

337,849

3.5 %

BA Cityflyer, CityJet

6

Bristol (BRS)

324,471

3.4 %

easyJet

7

Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)

297,882

3.1 %

easyJet, KLM, KLM cityhopper

8

London Luton (LTN)

283,406

3.0 %

easyJet

9

Belfast International (BFS)

267,252

2.8 %

easyJet

10

Birmingham (BHX)

260,105

2.7 %

Flybe

11

Paris CDG (CDG)

191,814

2.0 %

CityJet, easyJet

12

Southampton (SOU)

172,247

1.8 %

Flybe

13

East Midlands (EMA)

149,808

1.6 %

Bmibaby

14

Manchester (MAN)

146,101

1.5 %

bmi regional, Flybe

15

Palma Son Sant Joan Airport (PMI)

135,847

1.4 %

easyJet, Jet2.com, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines. Thomson Airlines

16

Malaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso (AGP)

125,905

1.3 %

Jet2.com, Ryanair

17

Geneva Cointrin (GVA)

125,385

1.3 %

easyJet

18

Madrid Barajas (MAD)

114,812

1.2 %

easyJet

19

Alicante El Altet (ALC)

111,861

1.2 %

Jet2.com, Ryanair

20

George Best Belfast City (BHD)

110,115

1.2 %

Flybe

OVERALL TOTAL

9,549,866

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