Stats: By Air, Edinburgh Worst, Glasgow Best

Passengers using 'Edinburgh Airport' have suffered some of its worst-ever delays, because of peak-hour congestion at the fast-growing hub. Demand for flights in the morning and evening rush hours contributed to more than one in four scheduled services arriving or departing late between 2005-01 and 2005-03. Punctuality slumped by 5 per cent to 73 per cent compared with last year 2004 in the joint worst performance -- with Luton -- of any major British airport after Heathrow. 'On time' is measured as flights arriving or leaving less than 15 minutes late. Passengers at 'Edinburgh Airport' suffered average delays of 16 minutes, four minutes more than in 2004, 'The Civil Aviation Authority' (CAA) figures showed. The figures reflect the price of 'Edinburgh Airport's' rapid passenger growth to 8.2_million/year -- double that of eight years ago. Nearly half of its passengers are business travellers -- a much higher proportion than at many airports -- and a high percentage travel to London at peak times. Up to six flights are scheduled to depart at the same time at the height of the peaks, which are from 05:00-07:00 and 16:00-19:00. The timekeeping of charter flights at 'Edinburgh Airport' improved by 1 per cent to 58 per cent, but this remains the worst among major airports. Average delays increased by five minutes to 29 minutes. While charter operations account for a small proportion of total passengers at Edinburgh, they comprised up to 20_000 passengers /month in this period. By contrast, 'Glasgow Airport' was the most punctual -- along with Newcastle. A total of 79 per cent of scheduled flights were on time, although this was 3 per cent worse than a year ago. Charter services scored 76 per cent punctuality, up 3 per cent. 'BAA Scotland', which runs both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, admitted that the higher concentration of passengers at peak times at Edinburgh was causing 'a real challenge'. While 'Glasgow Airport' is growing almost as fast as 'Edinburgh Airport', just 29 per cent of its passengers are business travellers, compared with 42 per cent at its east coast counterpart. In addition, three-quarters of passengers at 'Edinburgh Airport' are travelling within the UK, many of them to and from London, compared with just over half at 'Glasgow Airport'. Mr.Malcolm Robertson, a spokesman for 'BAA Scotland', said:
'A high volume of business traffic at "Edinburgh Airport" dictates that, at peak times, we are busier than many other airports in the UK.' 'These obvious peaks across the day create a number of operational challenges for the airport, in terms of providing enough capacity and staff to manage the extra demand, but doing so efficiently and economically and in a way which protects the airport's competitive advantage, from which Edinburgh and Scotland benefit.'
Mr.Robertson said that 'BAA' encouraged airlines to operate services at less busy times at Edinburgh, but it would not turn business away if they insisted on peak-time slots. He said:
'If such demand continues, we will have to look hard at what extra investment is required.'
However, he added that 'BAA' was not aware of any concern from airlines already operating at the busiest times. Mr.Robertson said 'BAA' accepted that charter-flight punctuality at 'Edinburgh Airport' was poor, but problems affecting a single airline could have a disproportionate effect on the figures because of the small numbers involved.
'BAA' was spending 'millions of pounds/year' developing the airport, which should improve the current situation, Mr.Robertson added.
'The CAA' figures showed 'Istanbul Airport' was the airport with the worst punctuality among the top 75 destinations from Britain, where just half of flights operated on time. Passengers at 'Toronto Airport' suffered the longest delays. 'One in four flights late at Edinburgh airport ', Alastair Dalton, The Scotsman, 2005-07-30, Sa


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great. may as well tell the terrorists to bomb edinburgh airport...where all the bankers travel to and from

7/31/2005 12:17:00 am  

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