Passenger figures for the first six months of this financial year (2005/06) show a 31% increase compared with the same period last year. Passengers passing through the airport from 1 April until 30 September totalled 524,266. The airport’s growth has been dramatic in the past few years and the current passenger numbers compared to those of the first six months of 2003/04 reveal an increase of 121%.
Exeter is one of the fastest growing regional airports in the UK with the increased of scheduled routes the main reason for record passenger numbers. Flybe’s service to Edinburgh has seen a huge rise of 76% and is the busiest of all the scheduled routes on offer from the airport. Paris has been the second most popular of the scheduled services for the first half of this financial year but as the route started in March there are no previous year comparisons. The third most popular of the scheduled flights is to Alicante with an increase of 56%.
Of the domestic and UK route usage during the period, Edinburgh is followed by Newcastle in second place then Jersey and Glasgow. These services are benefiting the inbound tourism industry in the region. The airport also handled nearly 3,000 passengers that were not intending to land at Exeter International Airport. Exeter is the highest ranked airport in the UK for inbound diversions from other airports.
Charter services on behalf of tour operators have continued in popularity with Palma in top place for passenger numbers since April followed by Dalaman in Turkey, then Tenerife. Travellers to Crete were up by 44% and those to Faro up by 32% compared to the same period last year.
The airport also handled nearly 3,000 passengers that were not intending to land at Exeter International Airport. Exeter is the highest ranked airport in the UK for inbound diversions from other airports with Plymouth and Newquay-bound aircraft regularly using the airport. Flights for Cardiff, Bristol and Southampton also use Exeter International Airport as an alternative when they are unable to land at those Airports due to bad weather.
With the news this week that double daily flights to Manchester will be starting in February, Exeter International Airport should reach the landmark figure of one million passengers in financial year 2005/06.
Councillor Brian Greenslade, speaking on behalf of the airport’s owners, said: “This is really great news for Devon and our airport. Exeter Airport is booming, the economy of Devon is benefiting and it is a great credit to the staff of the Airport and the Airlines who use our Airport. It also shows Exeter Airport is safe and succeeding in the hands of Devon County Council.”