Turkish Airlines is increasing its Istanbul-Birmingham flight frequency from seven to 10 a week, providing the UK airport a further boost after a summer of strong traffic.
Passenger numbers at the airport have been on the rise since March and were 9% higher in August. "That has continued into September, even though Bmibaby is gone," says Birmingham airport chief executive Paul Kehoe. Low-cost carrier Bmibaby, which closed in September, had four 737s based at the airport. However, this has already been offset by the arrival of flights operated by Monarch Airlines using Airbus A321s and A320s.
Despite the strong performance, Kehoe remains cautious about the winter, given the tough economic conditions. "One swallow doesn't make a summer," he says, noting: "although we have weathered the storm, some airports in the UK are still in decline."