More Passengers Expected To Arrive By Air This Year

airport nov 2014Scilly is likely to see more passengers travelling by air this season.

The Council says numbers are expected to rise by 4.8%, taking the total now using Skybus flights to 98,500.

The figures were revealed during Thursday’s deferred Transport Committee meeting.

Officers had been asked to use the seven day break to consult with the Steamship Company and Islands’ Partnership, to get more accurate estimates of the number of visitors using the airport this coming year.

The data also revealed that this year, numbers were closer to the passengers levels predicted by Cllr Robert Dorrien Smith last February, when councillors were setting fees for the airport.

Robert said he remembered a year ago saying “93,000 was what we’d get.”

Even as late as last month, officers had been predicting a shortfall of around 3,000 passengers, meaning less income and a higher drain on reserves than had been expected.

But Robert said he was pleased it now looks like they might actually exceed those numbers.

And he said he was “confident in the islands’ ability to deliver increased traffic” next year.

That view was echoed by fellow accommodation provider, Cllr James Francis.

James said the predicted 4.8% increase in passengers was “a very conservative estimation” based on forward bookings with other operators and he expects numbers to be “an awful lot better than that this season.”

4 Responses to More Passengers Expected To Arrive By Air This Year

  1. yetanoth March 3, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Given the breadth and depth of your knowledge it is truly remarkable that none of your remedies or entreaties to either local or central government have ever been followed; this, I’m sure, is a great loss to society as a whole and the islands in particular.
    You’re very modest about your past but one can only assume that you were a captain of industry.
    I look forward to your next musings with bated breath.

  2. Alex Cycad March 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Has the Council noted that many of these travellers are locals, coming and going, or councillors, on official trips, or EU sponsored engineers, making EU sponsored buildings? Not an increased number of tourists?

    • Mizzen March 3, 2015 at 8:55 am

      My thoughts exactly, it’s the company rubbing they’re hands together not the rest of the islands!

  3. Ray Wornes March 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    This whole episode has proved to be unnecessary and undermining of local confidence. With the possibility of substantial outgoings happening at any time Councillors have put our Airport account at risk of making a substantial loss. I bet they wouldn’t run their businesses with their accounts balanced on a knife edge if they didn’t have to. Even with the extra visitors and a paltry 5% increase the amount going into the reserve will still be insufficient. As Councillors cannot be relied upon then I would suggest that a sum is agreed as a permanent contingency of say £1/4m so that our airport is run on a sound financial footing in the future. Once that larger fund is in place, then would be the time to ask if there is the opportunity to forgo a rise in fees for the following year without the risk of making a loss. Provision for a helicopter service in 2016 could also cost money which must be taken from the fund. The taxpayer has spent a vast amount of money on our Airport this year and will get nothing back but if that was a business investment then our businessmen would want a sizeable return on their investment. This begs the question – are businessmen the wrong people to be running our Council?