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.”

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