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Edinburgh Surpasses Heathrow for Domestic Passengers

Edinburgh Surpasses Heathrow for Domestic Passengers
Jennifer Billock

Move aside, Heathrow. Scotland’s Edinburgh airport now boasts the largest number of domestic airline passengers on an annual basis, says a new report by Anker Report that shows taxes and congestion may play a large part in the movement of passenger traffic.

Heathrow Airport (LHR) may be the busiest airport in Europe, but the amount of domestic passengers flying through is declining, dropping an average of 28 percent over the last 12 years. That puts Edinburgh Airport (EDI), Scotland’s busiest airport, into the top position for domestic passenger travel.

This new information comes from the Anker Report, a study that analyzes airline services throughout Europe. The report suggests that an increase in the Air Passenger Duty tax is partially to blame, as well as airport congestion.

“The [Passenger Duty tax] is applicable to all passengers departing from a UK airport, which means that a domestic passenger is charged for both sectors of a return journey,” Ralph Anker, who compiled the report, told The Independent. “Heathrow’s congestion has played a part, as domestic capacity has been squeezed out in favor of more profitable international routes.”

Officials at the airport in Edinburgh attribute to domestic increase to an expanded network of flights throughout Europe that originate in Scotland.

“Our European network has grown and reduced the need to fly to London airports to get to connecting destinations, although our domestic market is mature with up to 52 flights a day to London as well as flights to other cities in the UK,” a spokesperson told The Independent.

Meanwhile at Heathrow, although domestic passengers are on the decline, international customers are increasing, rising 26 percent over the same time period.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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