Leeds is ‘fastest growing airport’

The number of people flying out of Leeds Bradford Airport increased to 352,175 in July 2010, according to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), an 11% increase in traffic compared to the same month last year.

Leeds is the largest airport in the Yorkshire area, ahead of Robin Hood in Doncaster and Humberside on the east coast of England. The Yeadon hub regularly attracts in excess of 2.5m passengers per year, compared to 890,000 at Doncaster and a paltry 390,000 at Humberside Airport.

Bosses claim that Leeds’ soaring passenger numbers can be attributed to a series of new routes from budget airlines Thomson and Jet2, rising demand for Flybe’s domestic routes and a new Ryanair base that opened at Leeds in March 2010. The airport is also pursuing a £28m re-jig of its terminal in a bid to attract extra passengers in the future.

Tony Hallwood, commercial director at Leeds Bradford, claims that the Yorkshire airport is “bucking the national trend” by gaining new passengers and can “look forward to 2011 with confidence”. Tony also mentioned on-going expansion by resident airlines, enabling Leeds to offer flights to 76 destinations.

Jet2, which has called Leeds home since 2003, will add a route from Leeds to Madeira, an island owned by Portugal, in 2011.

Flights to Bodrum in Turkey and New York in North America will grace Jet2’s schedules later this year, helping chilly Brits get some sun in the colder months or, in the case of New York, enjoy shopping in one of the biggest cities in the world.

Despite promising figures for Leeds, a second report by the CAA discovered that aircraft punctuality at ten UK airports had fallen to 78% between April and June 2010, a 4% slump on last year’s figures.

Gatwick, the second largest airport in the UK, suffered a miserable 10% drop in punctuality, with local rival Luton reporting a 9% decline in timely planes.

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