Bristol Airport expects record-breaking year for passengers

Exeter Airport charges just £1 for stop-offs from five to 30 minutes. Picture: Bristol Airport

Exeter Airport charges just £1 for stop-offs from five to 30 minutes. Picture: Bristol Airport - Credit: Bristol Airport

A record numbers of passengers used Bristol Airport last year – and if its expansion plans get the green light more could be on the way.

About 8.6 million passengers used Bristol Airport’s terminal in 2018.

The record represents a 6.2 per cent increase year on year, equating to more than 400,000 additional passengers using the airport, and a ninth consecutive year of growth.

An increase in both charter and scheduled flights contributed to the rise, with the airport serving 125 different routes, with airlines including easyJet, and Thomas Cook launching new routes in 2018, with destinations including Sofia, Bulgaria, Ostersund, Cyprus and Larnaca and additional capacity added to routes.

The number of passengers using the airport is expected to pass nine million in 2019.

TUI’s long-haul destinations remained popular, as did European destinations such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Paris and Frankfurt.

In December, Bristol Airport submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council to increase capacity to handle 12 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s.

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The proposed development includes new infrastructure, improvements to existing terminal and road facilities, and operational changes to ensure the airport can continue to meet the increasing demand for services.

Annual traffic through the terminal is limited to 10 million passengers under the current planning permission.

The proposals represent the first step towards the airport’s goal of serving up to 20 million passengers a year by 2045.

Nigel Scott, business development director at Bristol Airport, said: “These figures demonstrate demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales continues to grow, with more passengers than ever choosing to use their local airport.

“We recently asked passengers for feedback on why they chose to fly from Bristol Airport; friendly, clean, welcoming, convenient and efficient were reasons behind passengers choice.

“We expect this trend to continue throughout 2019, and the improvements we are making to the whole airport will further enhance the experience for our passengers now and in the future.”