3 FEBRUARY 2020
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As we start the new decade, Glasgow Airport sees growth ahead with major events in the city, Emirates increasing capacity, easyJet introducing Pula, Barcelona and Dalman, TUI expanding through the winter and Lufthansa going double-daily to Frankfurt.
These new destinations will help the airport to recover from the loss of Thomas Cook Airlines with the shortfall also expected to be picked up by other operators typified by Jet2, which has increased capacity for the winter.
People still want to go on holiday.
The best news for the airport, however, is Emirates' decision to bring in the iconic Airbus A380 daily to Dubai from the end of March, replacing one of the existing Boeing B777 operations.
Airport managing directir Mark Johnston said: “Emirates’ decision to operate a year-round daily service using the Airbus A380 is tremendous news and underlines the airline’s continued commitment to Glasgow Airport and its passengers.
“We invested significantly in our international pier infrastructure to improve vastly the experience for our long-haul carriers and passengers last year. This included building Scotland’s first and only triple airbridge, which not only supports a wide range of aircraft types but is perfect for servicing the A380”.
With 30 airlines serving more than 120 destinations worldwide including Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Europe and the Gulf, Glasgow Airport is Scotland’s principal long-haul airport. Ownership is vested in AGS, a partnership between Ferrovial and the Macquarie Infrastructure Real Assets (MIRA) operation. AGS also operates Aberdeen and Southampton airports.
Glasgow Airport’s record throughput was in 2017 with 9.9m passengers. When officially announced, the 2019 figure is expected to be 8.9m.
Hampden Park is a venue for FIFA Euro 2020 and good news for the airport. Another event for this year will certainly put Glasgow on the world map. Between 9 - 20 November, Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) will host the 26th UN Climate Change Summit (COP26), expected to attract more than 30,000 delegates and many world leaders. This main venue is just across the Clyde, less than 15min from the airport.
Secretary of state for Scotland Alister Jack said: "The UK government is showing great leadership on this vital issue – becoming the first major economy to pass new laws to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050."
The event is very good news for Scotland and its tourism at a time of the year when the numbers are usually down. Preparations for the event will also help to boost numbers over the coming months.
Glasgow Airport has now added a further executive suite, the Lomond Lounge, available to all travellers and offering a full dining facility at a charge of £40 (£15 for Priority Pass customers). This supplements the successful Aspire Upper Deck lounge and those offered by British Airways and Emirates. Included are some fine Scotch whiskies.
Customers can choose from a range of freshly-prepared dishes from the breakfast and lunch/dinner menus, whether eggs Benedict or an American pancake stack ahead of the morning business commute. There is Lomond beef or vegan burgers for lunch, or even a stone-baked pizza with Ayrshire ham or fish with triple-cooked chips with minted mushy peas for an evening meal before heading off on holiday. There is a good selection of lighter dishes too.
The lounge has a prime location in the departures area with views of both the airfield and the stunning backdrop of the Campsie Fells. The airport says that the look and feel of the 4,500sq ft facility has been inspired by the neighbouring Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and features a mix of table service for à la carte dining and more relaxed seating areas where passengers can unwind in comfort and enjoy snacks or drinks before their flights.
The lounge includes a business suite area and features charging outlets, high-speed wi-fi, flight information displays, complimentary national newspapers and glossy magazines.
No long walks at this airport and the airside shopping facilities are as good as any, with a Scottish tweak. There is a Glasgow Celtic shop, but nothing from Rangers.
What happens with duty free post-Brexit we are not sure. The words are an anomaly. You pay duty travelling to EU countries (the Channel Islands are not part of the EU). Nothing is likely change for the time being.
As a final note, the airport has one of the best (and easiest to use) websites.
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