A couple of weeks after the restoration of the Luton air link it's being claimed the service could herald a reversal of recent passenger trends at Isle of Man Airport. Figures for October show that while total passenger numbers were down by 1,800 for the month, the shortfall on Luton for the month was almost 4,000 passengers. However, the first two return Luton flights at the end of October attracted 190 passengers and in October 2006 nearly 4,200 passengers used the service. It's also noted that advance bookings for Luton are 'promising.'
Airport Director Ann Reynolds says that while it will take a significant period for passenger numbers to approach previous levels, early indications are that 1,500 passengers a month could be generated over the winter period and, with a daily operation, this could rise to over 3,000 monthly by the middle of next summer.
She says that other routes have also shown promise during October. Dublin, operated by Aer Arann, has seen steadily improving passenger loads in recent months and in October over 400 additional passengers used the route, an increase of over 13%. The Flybe route to Gatwick generated over 2,200 more passengers than in October 2006, a rise of over 22%, and the Flybe Southampton service was up 84% with 1,660 passengers using the south coast link. EuroManx carried 26% more passengers between the Isle of Man and Manchester, contributing to a greatly improved Manchester route performance overall, in comparison with recent months.