Edinburgh and Glasgow airports handling less than 10 per cent of usual flights

Only a handful of flights are still departing Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.Only a handful of flights are still departing Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.
Only a handful of flights are still departing Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. | JPIMedia
The collapse in aviation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has been laid bare in new figures for Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

Nine out of ten flights from the UK’s regional airports have been grounded since the country went into lockdown last month.

And Scotland’s busiest airport, Edinburgh, is handling just three per cent of its usual flights.

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In recent weeks many airlines have stopped their flights following the government guidance to avoid all non essential travel during the current coronavirus pandemic.

However, flight tracking website Flightradar24 recorded 711 departures from the UK’s ten biggest airports last week.

This compares with a total of 7865 in the week leading up to the UK’s lockdown on March 23.

According to the data collated by Flightradar24.com, last week just 16 flight departures were recorded from Edinburgh Airport – usually Scotland’s busiest airport – compared to 581 in the week ending March 22.

That’s a 97 per cent reduction in activity.

While at Glasgow Airport there was a drop of around 94 per cent, with 25 flights last week compared to 416 in the week running up to the lockdown.

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The greater number of services is believed to reflect the focus of Loganair’s operations to the Western and Northern Isles being from Glasgow when few other airlines are still flying in Scotland.

Across the country some airports are still running a few repatriation flights for the Foreign Office, but many of the planes that are still flying are actually on cargo and freight journeys.

Most of the world’s air cargo is usually transported in the hold of passenger aircraft, however with the majority of airliners not flying, cargo companies have stepped up their operations in an effort to meet the demand to ferry items into the UK.

With no passengers on board, the seats on a plane can be covered with netting so supplies can travel in the cabin as well as in the hold.

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Among the items being transported into the UK by air in recent days have been medical supplies, component parts for projects to manufacture respirators and personal protective equipment (PPE).

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