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Dundee Airport lost £2.8m as passenger numbers fell in pandemic

Dundee Airport was affected by the plans.
Dundee Airport was affected by the plans.

Dundee Airport lost £2.8 million in a year as passenger numbers plummeted during the pandemic.

The city airport served just 4,751 passengers in the year to March 31 2021 as Covid-19 reduced demand for travel.

This compares to more than 21,000 passengers in 2019/20.

Newly filed accounts for Dundee Airport Ltd showed revenue fell to £1.4m in the financial year compared to £5.2m in 2020.

The operating loss was £2.8m compared to a £779,000 surplus in 2020.

Pledge to work to retain Dundee Airport routes

Dundee Airport is one of 11 airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL), wholly owned by Scottish Ministers and subsidised by the Scottish Government.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “The reduction in passenger numbers was keenly felt across all HIAL airports including Dundee and, of course, aviation as a sector.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon.

“Airline schedules were vastly reduced in 2020/21 due to the pandemic with the corresponding impacts on airports and associated services.

“With that as a back drop, throughout the year, we supported our existing airlines to help prepare them to return to our airports once restrictions were eased and the demand for more frequent services from the travelling public increased.

“We also worked with all our partners on the airports to help them through the pandemic.

“We will continue to work with the Scottish Government, partner agencies and our airline partners to retain key routes and to bring in new services where we can.”

Government grants

Last month, the UK Government announced funding of £2.5m to ensure flights to London City airport remain in operation until at least 2023.

The route will continue to be run by Loganair, which has operated the flights since 2014. There are also flights to Belfast from Dundee.

During the 2020/21 financial year, HIAL received a public subsidy of £56.8m. This was made up of revenue funding of £36.6m and capital funding of £20.2m.

A Loganair aircraft prior to taking off for Belfast.

It also had a £3.6m loan to fund commercial activities.

Passenger numbers across its 11 airports fell from 1.7 million in 2019/20 to 393,000 in 2020/21.

HIAL’s accounts show a loss of £2.6m for the financial year.

Mr Lyon said: “Over the last year, the Covid mitigation measures introduced across out airports and office buildings took priority.

“Nonetheless, we continued to invest in the infrastructure across the company, delivery £23.8m in capital projects.”

Investment in Dundee Airport is one of the 26 projects in the Tay Cities Deal.

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