A total of 6.3 million passengers used Bristol Airport last year, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2008. This represents a 3.45 per cent increase year on year, and a fifth consecutive year of growth for the South West’s largest airport.
The landmark total included record passenger figures for a single day, set on 14 August when 25,390 arrived or departed during 24 hours. Growth was achieved without increasing the number of commercial flights, reflecting the introduction of larger aircraft on a number of established services, including KLM’s four-times daily service to Amsterdam.
Further growth is forecast in 2015, with flights to a raft of new destinations set to commence this spring, and at least one airline launching operations at Bristol Airport for the first time.
The Airport’s largest carrier, easyJet, has put new destinations on sale, including year-round services to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Porto, while Thomson Airways will operate flights to Cape Verde for the first time, alongside new services to Hurghada in Egypt and Paphos, Cyprus. In addition, Wizz Air will enter the South West market for the first time, with twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland from June.
Coupled with the fall in the value of the euro which could see travellers save up to 20 per cent on holiday expenses such as eating out, this increased programme of flights and holidays makes the offer from Bristol Airport more competitive than ever.
Development of passenger facilities to cater for this increased demand continues, with work underway on an eastern terminal extension and improvements to car parks. Beyond the Airport boundary, improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, are in the pipeline and will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed.
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive at Bristol Airport, said:
“Airports are useful barometers for the economy of the region they serve, so growth of passenger numbers at Bristol Airport is good news for the South West. This strong performance is set to continue throughout 2015, with leisure travel in particular being stimulated by the euro exchange rate and reductions in Air Passenger Duty for children.
“Work is already underway to ensure we maintain and enhance the customer experience as passenger numbers grow, and we continue to explore opportunities with existing and potential airline partners to strengthen and extend the route network available from Bristol. It is set to be an exciting year in which we will continue to work towards our goal to be a world class regional airport serving the South West of the UK.”