Popularity of non-European flights helps Birmingham Airport to pass 9m passenger mark

BIRMINGHAM Airport has reported an annual rise in passengers – with more than nine million people using the airport last year.

Latest figures reveal 9.1m passengers used the airport in 2013, a 2.3% increase compared to 2012.

The airport enjoyed a busy December, which saw 574,854 passengers pass through the terminal, representing an 8% increase compared to the same period last year.

The top scheduled destinations in 2013 from the airport were Dublin, Dubai and Amsterdam, and the most popular charter destinations were Dalaman, Palma and Tenerife.

The largest growth sector in December was non-EU charter flights to Winter  sun destinations such as Barbados.

But it was an increase in the use of scheduled services which accounted for 87.9% of all traffic.

Paul Kehoe, the airport’s CEO, said: “2013 has been a fantastic year for us in many ways. In terms of passenger numbers, we’ve seen consecutive growth in the past eight months, which has led to our best yearly performance since 2009.

“Helped by a strong December, over nine million people have decided to take advantage of the Airport’s world-class facilities and its growing network of flights throughout the past 12 months.

“We are now looking to build on this success in 2014, which will see the opening of our longer runway and with it, the capability to serve more long haul destinations than ever before.”

Scheduled routes that experienced particular growth in December included Stuttgart (+89.2%), Milan (+81.7%), Chambery (+74.7%), Funchal (+65.4%), Istanbul (+45%) and Belfast (+40.2%).

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, added: “The airport’s strong 2013 performance is testament to the ongoing activity to promote the Greater Birmingham and Black Country region as a popular visitor destination.  

“Over the past 12 months we have undertaken marketing campaigns with our tourism partners at VisitEngland and VisitBritain to strengthen links with countries including Germany and Italy. The significant recent growth in passengers from Stuttgart and Milan indicates that our work to grow the region’s profile and reputation is bearing fruit.

“The prospect of more of the international business community being able to fly to and from Birmingham in future months thanks to the airport’s runway extension, coupled with our current work with European funding partners to attract more visitors from Southeast Asia, shows that 2014 could prove to be even more successful.”

Charter services seeing an increase in passengers included Barbados (+70.2%), Gambia (+21.4%), Austria (+8.9%), Finland (+5.6%) and Spain (+5.3%).

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