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Ronaldsway Airport Bouncing Back

by Jason Gorringe,, London

15 September 2010

After months of reporting decreases in passenger numbers, the Isle of Man airport has reported a marginal traffic increase year-on-year in August.

65,597 passengers passed through the Ronaldsway airport, 45 more than in August 2009. Airport Director, Ann Reynolds said the slight improvement is further evidence that the slow recovery is continuing:

“Achieving last year’s traffic level is a reassuring milestone for us,” she said. “August is a particularly important month as it is traditionally the second busiest month after the TT month of June, and a shortfall can deeply affect the year’s performance. We still have a long way to go and we are expecting traffic will still fall short of 2009 levels for a number of the remaining months of the year, but August has given us a reason to be cautiously optimistic.”

Passengers flying between the Isle of Man and the key Northwest region of the UK showed an increase of nearly 1,100 passengers with Liverpool, operated by Flybe and easyJet, generating almost 3,000 more passengers than in August 2009, an increase of 27.5%. However, there have been resultant reductions in traffic in both the Manchester and Blackpool routes, reducing figures by 13% to 14%. London traffic has also increased by 1.5%, with Flybe’s routes to Gatwick and Luton selling two-thirds of seats over the month and both showing improvements of about 7%.

Scottish routes also showed a small increase, with Edinburgh continuing to strengthen, whilst the boost to services to South and South West England provided by the Bristol route was more than balanced by reductions to the Southampton and Gloucester services and the withdrawal of Newquay. Similarly, in the Northeast, increased Newcastle traffic by over 50% whilst their Leeds route saw a 19% decrease.

Charter traffic also grew massively during August, with the very popular Freedom Holidays weekly summer flights to Majorca direct from the Isle of Man helping to increase charter numbers fivefold.

Reynolds also emphasized that whilst international air transport has bounced back after the recession and the ash crisis, UK domestic air traffic, by comparison, has been very slow to recover.

“Confidence has rapidly returned to the global air transport scene and, whilst the domestic markets have not yet responded in the same way, it is expected that this will follow slowly over time.”

“The Isle of Man is essentially part of the UK domestic air travel scene and continues to follow slow domestic recovery trends. However, I believe that we can use this opportunity to stimulate interest and awareness in the island for both the business and leisure markets to help to lead the way to faster recovery,” Reynolds concluded.

TAGS: Isle of Man | aviation

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