IT was interesting to hear Glasgow Airport voice worries over the impact of Brexit uncertainty on new route decisions by airlines as it yesterday reported a year-on-year fall in passenger numbers in January.

Weather-related disruption played a part in Glasgow Airport’s first year-on-year fall in passenger numbers for around five years. The figures were also affected by the suspension this winter of United’s Newark and Ryanair’s London Stansted services.

However, Glasgow Airport highlighted generally “challenging” conditions looking forward to 2018.

Loading article content

It flagged the importance of winning new routes, as it underlined Brexit uncertainty.

An airport spokesman summed up the European Union exit issue well, declaring: “We have still got the uncertainty around what is going to happen with Brexit. It just affects the confidence of the airlines in terms of putting in new routes.”

And who can blame them?

There is intense international competition for new routes so Brexit is a hindrance UK airports do not need.

One frustrating thing in all of this is demand for flights between Glasgow and airports in other EU countries remains buoyant. Although Glasgow Airport saw a year-on-year fall in overall international traffic in January, passenger numbers on EU scheduled services last month were up by 4.7 per cent on a year earlier.

Given this obvious demand, and potential further afield, Glasgow Airport should be in a good position to win new routes. It is just to be hoped the Brexit fiasco does not impede its ability to achieve new highs.