NUMBERS of passengers using Gibraltar airport went up by 8% to more than 320,000 in the first eight months of the year, the government has reported.
Minister for Tourism Vijay Daryanani said the jump from 296,554 in January to August 2022 to 320,648 in the same period this year was ‘welcome news’.
In addition, a total of 322 private jets arrived at Gibraltar International Airport during these months, a record for the Rock.
The government said the growth in scheduled and non-scheduled flight was cementing Gibraltar as ‘a convenient place to travel from’.
“This is, of course, welcome news but we want more,” Daryanani said.
“We have worked very hard to attract overnight tourism and, at the same time, promoted our airport.
“These figures show that people want to come to Gibraltar and use the airport.”
British Airways and Easyjet currently operate flights to London, Manchester, Bristol and Edinburgh to and from Gibraltar.
A number of staffing problems have affected the airport in recent months, leading to cancellations or flights getting diverted to Malaga in Spain.
Daryanani admitted that: “As with many other airports, we do unfortunately occasionally suffer from flight disruptions, which are normally beyond anyone’s control.
“But we will keep on pushing hard behind the scenes, working with the airlines to try to minimise the inconvenience these create to our passengers, as well as trying to increase capacity and open new routes.
“This work is ongoing and will continue at full throttle.”
The £80 million airport terminal building was initially heavily criticised by the current government as it is intended for much greater numbers of flights.
It is also one of the apparent bones of contention in the ongoing EU treaty talks, with Spain wanting to be able to use it freely.
A long-overdue tunnel to divert traffic along the eastern end of the runway opened last April.
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