Latest news from Bristol Airport including anti tax lobby to Weston MP

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By Prue_Reid | Friday, August 17, 2012, 16:14

Bristol Airport is on route for one of its busiest summers but it isn't only holidaymakers trying to get away from the rotten British weather.

Passenger numbers last month topped 650,000 making it the busiest July on record. 

The number of people passing through the terminal was up 5.1 per cent year on year, and surpassed the previous July high recorded back in 2008.

Bristol Airport handles almost six million passengers a year and is one of the UK's fastest growing airports.

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: "High passenger volumes have been driven by the strong performance of easyJet services and the popularity of the holidays offered by tour operators Tui and Thomas Cook.  

"But it is not all one way traffic – figures for the first quarter show that around one in five passengers using Bristol Airport is an inbound visitor from overseas. 

"Demand from business and leisure travellers also remained strong during the Olympics."

This increase followed a 6.9 per cent year on year increase in passengers in June, meaning a total of more than 1.2 million people used the airport over the two month period. 

During this time security processing times have seen significant improvements as a result of the introduction of two new x-ray channels, and a second immigration point is now in use, easing congestion in the international arrivals area.

Once again, the rise in passengers was achieved with fewer flights as the total number of aircraft movements fell by 7.4 per cent as a result of airlines operating with high load factors on larger aircraft.

Mr Browne added: "It has been an encouraging summer so far and, while we know winter will be more challenging, we are pleased that new services to Copenhagen and Warsaw will commence in the next couple of months, and that Ryanair has extended its services to Barcelona Reus and Knock (Ireland West) to operate year-round."

  • North Somerset MP Liam Fox received the largest number of messages from constituents calling for the Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped. More than 1,200 West Country people lobbied their MPS to support A Fair Tax On Flying. The UK's flight tax is currently the highest in the world and those opposed are backed by the leading names in the UK travel and tourism industry, including Bristol Airport. Dr Fox has so far received more than 200 messages calling for action on APD. Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West), Dawn Primarolo (Bristol South), Stephen Williams (Bristol West), Jack Lopresti (Filton and Bradley Stoke), Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) and John Penrose (Weston-super-Mare) all had over a hundred messages on the subject in their inboxes. Nearly 100,000 people nationwide have backed the campaign. APD is over 8.5 times the European average and twice the amount levied in Germany – the second most expensive rate in Europe behind the UK. A family of four flying in Economy class from the UK to the US pays £260 in APD, whereas in France the equivalent tax is only £38. On European flights, a British family pays twelve times as much tax as their French counterparts.
  • Bristol Airport has launched a world first - an application that lets passengers in bars and lounges order food and drink on their smartphone. Customers can download the QikServe app for free and use the tool to place an order and have meals or beverages brought to their table in three steps. The new offering means users do not have to worry about queuing at the bar or leaving possessions unattended at their table. Bristol Airport says the new initiative strengthens the base's reputation for prioritising customer service and innovation, which has helped it become one of the UK's fastest-growing air travel gateways. Retail manager Tom Hack said: 'By introducing Qikserve to the busiest food and beverage location, Bar Zero 9 at Bristol Airport, it allows the team to deliver a seamless and stress-free start to the customers' journey. The airport also boosted its retail offering this year with the opening of a new Dixons Travel electricals store in June.
  • Passengers flying from Bristol Airport to Brussels will board a new, improved aircraft from the end of October following an agreement between Brussels Airlines and Flybe. The Belgian airline's three times daily service to Europe's 'capital' is operated by Flybe under a 'wet-lease' contract which will see a Bombardier Q400 introduced on the route. The new aircraft has capacity for 78 passengers – a 60 per cent increase in seats compared to the Embraer 145 currently operating the service. It will bear the Brussels Airlines livery and offer the same product and services enjoyed across the Brussels Airlines short haul network, meaning passengers from Bristol will enjoy a seamless product when using the flight to access onward connections.

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