EDINBURGH Airport has recorded its lowest number of passengers since 1995 in the past year according to the latest figures.
The airport saw a -76% decline in passengers over the course of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The airports chief executive says the results are worrying and that a path to recovery is not clear.
The airport handled a little under 3.5m passengers in 2020 whereas in 2019 over 14.7m flyers passed through the airport.
The airport claims the loss of passengers has cost the Scottish economy around £1bn and over 21,000 jobs during the same period.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport said: “Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones through this pandemic and with those on the frontline managing the health crisis.
“The fall in our passenger numbers is only one reflection of the long-term damage being inflicted by Covid-19 on Scotland’s economy and its social fabric, but it is a worrying one and there is no clear path to recovery.
“Nobody should assume that when the pandemic subsides, life will go back to normal.
“At the airport, we will be starting from a low level of activity not recorded here since 1995 and the choice of airlines and destinations may be dramatically different to those we had worked hard to build before 2020 and on which many people depend for bringing visitors to Scotland and for holidays and business, including exports.
The airport recorded passenger numbers which were down in every quarter as the pandemic progressed in Scotland with tighter restrictions on travel and border controls.
The vast majority of people travelled before the pandemic hit and numbers plummeted by 99% between April-June, 83% between July-September and 90% between October-December.
Mr Dewar added:“We believe that now is the right time for industry, government and trade unions to be thinking about a substantial economic recovery plan.
“One that does not distract the health professionals from the important job of saving lives and protecting the NHS today, but one which puts Scotland in the best possible position to recover as quickly as possible when the conditions allow.
“The power and impact of the aviation industry cannot simply be measured on passenger numbers and the number of aircraft arriving and departing.
“Thousands of people rely on airports and airlines, and their vast supply chains, for the income that puts food on the table and pays the bills.
“Other countries around the world are providing support for their aviation sectors and UK and Scottish Governments should do the same.”