Edinburgh airport; easyJet offers most seats, Flybe most flights and Ryanair most routes

Image: easyJet at Edinburgh
easyJet serves 13 destinations from Edinburgh; but only Krakow is also served by Ryanair.

Handling just under nine million passengers in 2008, Edinburgh airport ranks seventh among UK airports. Traffic trebled in the 13 years between 1994 and 2007 but last year passenger numbers fell for the first time in many years, though by less than 1%. Edinburgh’s owners, BAA, have been ordered by the Competition Commission to sell either Edinburgh or Glasgow some time during the next two years, but not until it has sold London Gatwick and London Stansted.

Chart: Edinburgh airport traffic 1993-2008
Source: UK CAA

Domestic traffic dominates but down

Eleven of the airport’s 15 busiest routes were domestic, with all five of London’s main airports ranking inside the top 10. However, passenger numbers were down on four of the five London routes last year with only London City registering an increase, of 5%.

Chart: Top 15 routes to/from Edinburgh
Source: UK CAA
Image: Ryanair
Ryanair now offers 30 routes: Prior to last summer it operated just two routes to Edinburgh, Dublin had started in September 2001 in response to Go starting the route, while Shannon was added in 2006.

Although only four international routes ranked in the top 15, overall across all international routes traffic was up 8.7% to 3.7 million. This has been triggered by Ryanair’s decision to base aircraft at the airport and start a wide-range of new routes. Prior to last summer Ryanair operated just two routes to Edinburgh. Services from Dublin had started in September 2001 in response to Go starting the route, while Shannon was added in 2006. The 28 new routes it has started are spread across several countries.

The average frequency across all 30 routes is less than four flights per week with 21 of the routes served with no more than three weekly frequencies. This rapid growth has propelled Ryanair into second place in terms of scheduled seat capacity, behind easyJet.

easyJet serves just 13 destinations from Edinburgh with its five domestic routes (to Belfast International, Bristol, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted) accounting for 70% of its flights at the airport. Internationally the airline serves Amsterdam, Geneva, Krakow, Nice, Madrid, Milan Malpensa, Munich and Paris. Only Krakow is also served by Ryanair.

Country Destination (current weekly frequency)
France Carcassonne (3), Grenoble (1), Limoges (2), Marseille (2), Poitiers (2)
Germany Altenburg/Leipzig (3), Berlin SXF (4), Bremen (4), Dűsseldorf/Weeze (4), Frankfurt/Hahn (3)
Italy Bologna (3), Cagliari (3), Pisa (3), Rome Ciampino (3), Turin (1)
Poland Krakow (3), Lodz (2), Poznan (3), Wroclaw (2)
Spain Alicante (4), Malaga (4), Palma de Mallorca (3)
Other Billund (3), Bournemouth (13), Bratislava (3), Malta (2), Stockholm Skavsta (4), Zadar (2)
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 30 March 2009
Chart: Top 12 airlines at Edinburgh
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 30 March 2009

British Airways operates just three domestic routes, all to London. Heathrow is served 63 times weekly, London City 45 and London Gatwick 28. Flybe and its franchise partner Loganair operate 220 weekly departures to 15 domestic destinations, though it does not operate any London routes. This means that it actually operates more flights than either easyJet or Ryanair.

Continental to Newark and Delta to JFK

Edinburgh is lucky enough to have two transatlantic services with Continental serving its Newark hub daily and Delta operating five weekly flights to New York JFK. Mainland European carriers present at the airport include Air France (serving London City and Paris CDG), Cimber Sterling (to Copenhagen), Germanwings (to Cologne/Bonn), KLM, Lufthansa and Norwegian (to Copenhagen and Oslo). Copenhagen is served by three airlines as bmi also offers double-daily flights. Leisure airlines FlyGlobespan and Jet2.com offer further choices with mostly low-frequency flights to destinations around the Mediterranean. However, Jet2.com also serves Dűsseldorf and Prague.

Dortmund and Gdansk no longer served

Services that have been dropped during the last year include Centralwings to Gdansk and Warsaw, clickair to Barcelona, easyJet to Dortmund and Gdansk, and Sterling to Copenhagen and Stockholm.

New scheduled routes that will be starting this summer include a weekly service with FlyGlobespan to Dalaman in Turkey, plus Jet2.com’s low-frequency services to Ibiza, Menorca, Olbia and Venice.


  1. Joe Curry says:

    A direct middle east service is glaringly missing from Edinburgh Airport.

  2. Simon WP Morgan says:

    Easyjet also serve Alicante and Palma in summer, albeit at low frequency.

    The frequencies quoted for the US services are for the winter season. In Summer Continental operates twice daily and I think Delta increases to daily as well. Not bad when less than ten years ago Edinburgh’s transatlantic service consisted of just one summer only Air Transat service to Toronto a week.

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