Passenger numbers at Bristol Airport have topped three quarters of a million during a single calendar month for the first time, with a total of 768,587* passing through the terminal this August – up six per cent over the previous year.
Growth is the result of the enhanced flight and holiday programmes on offer this summer from the ‘big two’ tour operators – Thomas Cook and TUI Group (which operates the Thomson and First Choice brands) – as well as a raft of new services from scheduled airlines and increased load factors across all sectors (meaning flights are operating with more passengers on board).
Thomson Airways added a third aircraft to its Bristol-based fleet in May, opening up new destinations including Dubrovnik, Pula and Santorini, while Thomas Cook operates two Airbus A321s to a total of 20 destinations from the Airport. New easyJet flights to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Porto, Gibraltar, Lanzarote, Catania and Zante all commenced earlier this year. Wizz Air also entered the South West market for the first time in June, launching twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland.
Inbound traffic also received a boost recently with the high profile opening of Banksy’s Dismaland in nearby Weston-super-Mare. This is expected to attract visitors on scheduled services from across the UK and Europe, as well as private charter flights from further afield.
An enlarged departure lounge opened in July to help meet this growing demand, and work is already underway on a second major extension to the terminal building which will deliver significant improvements to the security search and arrivals areas next year.