Edinburgh Airport has warned the travelling public to expect queues and disruption over the peak summer period as it prepares for a full service for the first time in more than two years.
The number of passengers travelling through the airport in 2020 and 2021 fell dramatically, from nearly 15 million to three million, with the airport reduced to a virtual standstill due to Covid restrictions.
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said:
“The return of passengers to Edinburgh Airport is both exciting for the team here but challenging at the same time. During the pandemic, we lost many valued colleagues and our recruitment campaign to employ 1,000 people across the airport has been underway since the end of 2021.
“Not all of those additional people will be in place as quickly as we would like and therefore it is inevitable there will be some queues and disruption as the recovery begins and we take the first steps to normality.
“As we do that, we are grateful to passengers for their patience and understanding and ask that they allow themselves to carefully plan and understand what they need to do before they get here. We all want to put on as good a service as we can and will be working hard to do that, drafting in people from across the airport to support passengers and ensuring people have everything they need to get through the airport quickly and comfortably.”
The airport is predicting numbers will more than treble in one year and that surge in growth and the tough recruitment markets are two of the factors involved. Other contributing issues are differing COVID entry requirements, security preparation and passengers returning to travel for the first time since the pandemic.
Adam Wilson, Operations Director at Edinburgh Airport said:
“Operations virtually shut down during the pandemic and although we have been planning for a sudden rise in demand, we cannot deny it will have an impact on our operations as we look to readjust.
“We’ve drawn up a range of plans to deal with potential scenarios but unfortunately this may not avoid queuing at peak times. We clearly hope this won’t be the case, but we think it’s better to be honest and ask passengers to work with us to make the process as smooth as possible.
“We’ll be using our social media channels, our website, our emails to inform and best prepare people for their return to travel. We hope people understand the challenges we are likely to face, and we are thankful for their patience.”