An increase in low cost and charter capacity at west country hub Bristol Airport has seen passenger numbers rise by 12.1 per cent.
Hitting 503,449 for the month of March, the major upsurge in passengers is largely attributable to the increasing popularity of international routes out of the hub, with flyers travelling overseas rising 24.4 per cent over the period.
Taking 12-monthly passenger figures to 5.995 million – an increase of 5.8 per cent on the previous period – the opening of a Ryanair base at the airport in November of last year has been identified as a key factor in boosting international traveller numbers.
With Bristol now looking to breach the six million passenger mark, a further bonus could come from the imminent introduction of thrice weekly Lufthansa flights linking Bristol with the airline’s main hub in Frankfurt.
Joining Ryanair and Lufthansa in bolstering its Bristol operations is SAS, whose recently proposed Bristol to Oslo summer route will also fly three times a week and increase options to and from the south-western city.
Hitting the six million passenger mark will not, however, be enough for some, with North Somerset Council expecting plans to be submitted this summer concerning an expansion of the airport in order to raise its capacity to nine million.