BAA Decision to Keep Glasgow Airport Should Benefit Customers

Following the Competition Commission’s decision to force BAA to sell Gatwick and Stansted airport in the south and either Glasgow or Edinburgh in Scotland, BAA have surprisingly decided to sell Edinburgh.

Edinburgh overtook Glasgow in terms of passenger numbers around 2005/2006 and today is the 5th largest UK airport with 9.1 million passengers, whilst Glasgow has continued to slip with only 7.1m according to the latest 12 months rolling figures to January 2013.
Airport Name Passenger Numbers

HEATHROW – 69998953
GATWICK – 34200857
MANCHESTER – 19690087
STANSTED – 17475699
LUTON – 9602699
EDINBURGH – 9162162
BIRMINGHAM – 8910761
GLASGOW – 7145307
BRISTOL – 5910662
LIVERPOOL (JOHN LENNON) – 4403376
NEWCASTLE – 4344168
BELFAST INTERNATIONAL – 4301002
EAST MIDLANDS INTERNATIONAL – 4043991
ABERDEEN – 3327853
LONDON CITY – 3005540
LEEDS BRADFORD – 2969751
BELFAST CITY (GEORGE BEST) – 2247102
SOUTHAMPTON – 1683000
PRESTWICK – 1079612

The official opening of the new Scottish Parliament in 2004 has undoubtedly been a major contributor to Edinburgh airport increases and as capital of Scotland is a natural entry point for overseas visitors.

Throughout the current recession Glasgow has continued to struggle whilst Edinburgh has not only weathered the storm but seen increased activity. The only conclusion is that BAA is confident that Glasgow has greater opportunity for development.

This must all be good news for travellers in Scotland and Northern England because given the airports proximity to each other the customer is now to be given a real choice both in terms of service and destinations.

Competition in airline landing charges, retail costs and airport parking charges should all work to way through to give the customer a more valued experience. BAA will now look to improve the customer experience making the journey from parking the car, check in, security and relaxing in the departure lounge.

Glasgow is located in a more central position with a larger adjacent catchment area and if BAA can make the airport a better value experience this must have weighed heavily with their decision to choose Glasgow over Edinburgh.

If the Glasgow airport parking charges become cheaper the off airport car parks will also fall into line and is an excellent example how the customers will benefit from this demerger.