Edinburgh Airport recorded its lowest number of passengers since 1995 in the last 12 months, and the outlook is bleak as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. The airport handled a little under 3.5m passengers in 2020 – a 76% reduction on the previous year which is estimated to cost the Scottish economy around £1bn and over 21,000 jobs during the same period.
Independent research on the airport’s economic impact suggests the reduction in passenger numbers to a total of 3,478,501 resulted in a cost to the Scottish economy of £1bn and over 21,000 jobs.
After ten years of significant growth, passenger numbers were down in every quarter as the pandemic took a grip on Scotland with tighter restrictions on travel and border controls.
The vast majority of people traveled before the pandemic hit and numbers plummeted by 99% between April-June, 83% between July-September and 90% between October-December.
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In early 2020, Edinburgh Airport worked with BiGGAR Economics to understand the positive impact of the airport on Scotland’s economy. Their report found that in 2019, Edinburgh Airport generated £1.4 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) and 28,000 jobs in the Scottish economy.
Wider than that, the report found Covid-19 also impacted on several other things such as:
- allowing freedom of movement;
- bringing opportunities for people to live more meaningfully and experience other cultures;
- promoting Scotland’s culture and heritage;
- enabling people to remain in contact with friends and family; and
- enhancing Scotland’s accessibility for visitors.