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Edinburgh has gained many airlines since 2021; Ryanair top carrier; 144+ destinations in S24

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Edinburgh ended 2023 with about 14.4 million passengers, making it the UK’s sixth-busiest airport. While traffic was -2.3% below that of 2019, it was much better recovered than UK airports generally (-8.4%).

Edinburgh passengers 2005-2023

Edinburgh has gained nine airlines since 2021

Examining Cirium schedules data shows that the Scottish capital has welcomed the following carriers since 2021, which does not include simple resumptions. The biggest development is JetBlue, whose first Edinburgh route (to New York JFK) begins on May 23 (daily). It will be its third UK destination.

  • 2024: Aurigny, JetBlue, Southwind
  • 2023: Iberia Express
  • 2022: Air Canada (replaced Rouge and moved from Glasgow), SunExpress, Transavia, WestJet (moved from Glasgow)
  • 2021: Virgin Atlantic (moved from Glasgow)

Edinburgh has lost airlines, too. They include the defunct Flybe Mk 2 in 2023, along with Wizz Air (moved to Glasgow); airBaltic and the defunct Flyr in 2022; BH Air in 2021; Emirates and the defunct Flybe Mk 1 in 2020; and American Airlines and the defunct Great Dane in 2019. Flybe #1 was Edinburgh’s fourth-largest airline by seats (second by flights).

Ryanair and easyJet have 55% of S24 seats

The pan-European ULCC first served Edinburgh 23 years ago in 2001 with flights from Dublin. It has nearly 1.8 million departing seats in S24, up by nearly half versus S19. This growth means it overtook easyJet for the top spot. Ryanair has grown by a much more modest 1% versus S23.

It will operate 69 routes in 25 countries this coming summer. Not surprisingly, Spain is the largest market, followed by Ireland, the domestic UK, Italy, and France. New routes include Agadir and Biarritz on 1 April (2-weekly) and Bergerac on April 2 (2-weekly). Agadir and Biarritz have not been served from Edinburgh before.

When added to easyJet, the pair has over half (55%) of the Scottish capital’s capacity. easyJet has grown by 8% versus S19 and 3% versus S23. It plans 40 routes in 16 countries, with more than one in two seats being domestic.

Prague International Airport

Top 10 Edinburgh airlines S24

Non-stop flights to 144+ destinations

They are in 35 countries. The UK has the most destinations (19), then Spain (16), Italy (14), France (13) and Germany (eight).

The US is not far off (seven): Atlanta, Boston, Chicago ORD, JFK, Orlando MCO, Newark and Washington IAD. Canada has three destinations: Calgary, Halifax (a brand-new route, which WestJet begins on 21 June; 3-weekly) and Toronto. With 10 North American destinations, it is the joint highest number on record.

Analysing the top 10 destinations in S24 compared to S19 shows that London LTN is no longer present, replaced by Copenhagen. London LGW has fallen from second place to sixth from the end of BA. The cessation of Flybe Mk1 pushed business-focused London LCY from sixth to ninth.

A key development is the rise of Belfast BFS. While long served by easyJet, the entry of Ryanair contributed greatly to the growth. It also benefited from Flybe ending Belfast BHD, although it was backfilled by Aer Lingus Regional.

Top 10 Edinburgh destinations S24

Athens International Airport