As the country’s infrastructure slowly starts to get moving again, Glasgow Prestwick Airport is one of the only transport facilities which has remained completely operational all of last week despite conditions brought on by the ‘Beast from the East’.
Asides from helping thousands of holiday passengers on Ryanair scheduled services, the airport has also played a vital role in handling 22 diverted flights and 3700 displaced travellers since Wednesday – some from as far afield as Dubai.
Glasgow Prestwick has been instrumental in accommodating aircraft of all sizes which are unable to land at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Located in South Ayrshire’s milder West Coast climate, next to the Atlantic Ocean and boasting a 3000m runway – the longest North of Manchester, the airport is able to accept some of the world’s largest aircraft, including the Boeing 777 and 747 while the rest of Scotland was in shutdown.
Despite snowfall, its team worked around the clock to keep its two runways open, while also liaising with international airlines to provide transport and accommodation for stranded passengers affected by diversions.
Jules Matteoni, Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s Operations Director said: “We are one of the few airports in the UK to have remained open during this exceptional period of adverse weather.
“Our location means that we have an excellent weather record and we play an important role whenever other airports are closed. We also have extensive infrastructure to accommodate diverted aircraft and their passengers as well as a robust strategy for remaining operational.
“It’ was an extremely busy couple of days but the whole team has worked hard to handle additional passengers and the challenges which a high number of diversions can present.
“We’ve been enabling Scots to reach sunnier climates in places such as Alicante, Malta and Malaga while also allowing people to get home whenever there simply were no other options.
“Glasgow Prestwick Airport is undoubtedly an important asset in Scotland’s transport network, fully equipped to deal with airlines of any size even during periods of severe weather.”
The airport has been supported by local hotels and transport providers, helping stranded travellers with overnight rooms and connections to their final destination.