RUGBY fans helped boost passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport by more than 8% in February.
Supporters travelling from Wales and Italy took the number of passengers up to 657,386 for the month.
The number of domestic passengers rose by 9.5% to 370,907.
International passengers also saw a significant growth with 286,479 people travelling in February, an increase of 6.5%.
The addition of more daily flights between Edinburgh and London helped drive the passenger growth with introduction of new services from Ryanair to Stansted and Flybe to London City in October last year.
British Airways also performed well on their BA Cityflyer service to London City which now operates up to 12 times per day.
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “After starting the New Year on a solid footing we enjoyed a strong February with our passenger numbers up over 8%.
“This is great news for our airlines, our passengers and Edinburgh’s economy as many people no doubt travelled here for the RBS 6Nations.
“Strong performances in both our domestic and international traffic helped drive our growth last month with new services launching to Madeira with easyJet, increased flights to Dublin with Ryanair and larger aircraft operating between Edinburgh and Paris on AirFrance’ HOP! route.
“We have a number of routes operating which weren’t in place last year and this has also helped drive our passenger numbers. Qatar Airlines, which launched last May, are delivering over 7000 more passengers than we had last February.
“We’re looking forward to a busy few months as we prepare to welcome even more new airlines to Edinburgh. Of course we can only continue to drive passenger growth and our economy if our calls to reduce and abolish Air Passenger Duty are answered.
“The report we published earlier this this week shows that a 50% reduction in this damaging tax would create almost 4000 jobs and add £1 billion to the Scottish economy by 2020.”