Scotland’s Edinburgh Airport has recorded its lowest passenger traffic since 1995 in the last 12 months.
In 2020, the airport handled nearly 3.5 million passengers as compared to a record of 15 million in 2019.
Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “The fall in our passenger numbers is only one reflection of the long-term damage being inflicted by Covid-19 on Scotland’s economy and its social fabric, but it is a worrying one and there is no clear path to recovery.”
The Scottish Government has prolonged non-domestic rates relief for the aviation sector and is working with airports on recovery, reported the BBC.
Statistics published by the airport reveals a drop of 99% in passenger traffic between April and June compared to the same period in 2019.
As travel restrictions continued, passenger numbers plummeted to 76%.
The airport stated that according to independent research, the drop in passenger traffic has cost the Scottish economy £1bn and over 21,000 jobs.
Dewar added: “We believe that now is the right time for industry, government and trade unions to be thinking about a substantial economic recovery plan.
“The power and impact of the aviation industry cannot simply be measured on passenger numbers and the number of aircraft arriving and departing, thousands of people rely on airports and airlines, and their vast supply chains, for the income that puts food on the table and pays the bills.
“Other countries around the world are providing support for their aviation sectors and the UK and Scottish governments should do the same.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman was quoted by BBC as saying: “Globally, as well as here in Scotland, the aviation industry faces one of the longest recovery periods from the pandemic.
“We have extended the 100% non-domestic rates relief for the sector by at least three months into 2021-22 and we’re also working with airports on route recovery, to help rebuild connectivity for business and tourism once we are able to safely lift travel restrictions. This will help win back routes and employment opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Berlin Brandenburg Airport has also reported a drop of 91% in passenger footfall in January, compared to the same month in 2020.
Last month, the airport handled approximately 207,620 passengers.
Similarly, Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, an international airport group with operations in Mexico, the US and Colombia, has announced that total passenger traffic for January 2021 decreased to 43.7% in comparison to January 2020.
Owing to the pandemic, passenger traffic dropped to 44.1% in Mexico, 45.4% in Colombia and 40.1% in Puerto Rico.