Even small countries often have multiple airports you can use, although there’s always one main airport that passengers often have to pass through before ending up in the destination they really want to visit – and all of that is true with Scotland, too. There are four international airports in Scotland, two of which are neck-in-neck for the title of “busiest Scotland airport,” and then a host of other smaller airports scattered throughout the country for those going further afield.
Here’s a list of the major airports in Scotland that you might use during your visit.
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Main Airports in Scotland
Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
Edinburgh‘s airport has been Scotland’s busiest for a long time, and it’s only recently battling for that title with the main airport in Glasgow. Still, Edinburgh Airport remains the country’s main international gateway, and since the city is the most popular destination in Scotland it still has a huge amount of passenger traffic coming through.
Edinburgh Airport is served by several budget carriers – including easyJet, bmibaby, and Ryanair – as well as many legacy carriers as well. One drawback of Edinburgh’s airport is that it doesn’t have direct flights from North America. Travelers coming in from North America usually end up flying first to London and then catching a flight on a budget airline up to Edinburgh.
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Glasgow International Airport (GLA)
Glasgow‘s main airport has been growing steadily and in recent years is competing for the moniker of “Scotland’s busiest airport” with Edinburgh. It’s a major international airport serving Scotland’s biggest city, so it may just be a matter of time before it takes the title – especially since there are direct flights from North America to Glasgow, while there aren’t any to Edinburgh.
Glasgow’s airport is well-served by budget carriers – including bmibaby, Flybe, and easyJet – but Ryanair is a notable absence. The Irish airline flies instead to Glasgow Prestwick Airport, which is a small airport much further from Glasgow.
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Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK)
The Glasgow Prestwick Airport is “Glasgow” in name only – the airport lies more than 30 miles from the city. It’s a small airport with service from only two airlines currently, but since they’re both budget carriers it does see a decent amount of passenger traffic.
Ryanair uses Glasgow Prestwick as something of a hub, so most of the traffic through the airport is from Ryanair. The other airline flying to Glasgow Prestwick is Wizz Air. Luckily, Glasgow Prestwick is well-connected to Glasgow itself via train.
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Aberdeen Airport (ABZ)
Aberdeen‘s airport serves a city with an enormous oil industry – so although Edinburgh and Glasgow see the lion’s share of the tourist traffic, Aberdeen’s passenger traffic made it Scotland’s second-busiest airport for many years. Budget airlines serving Aberdeen include easyJet and Flybe.
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Inverness Airport (INV)
The city of Inverness is a gateway to the Scottish Highlands, so if your goal is to get up into the north as quickly as possible then this could be a good option for you. It’s not a big airport, but it’s served by budget airlines easyJet and Flybe, so if you’re coming in from elsewhere in the UK you have a chance of finding a cheap flight to Inverness.
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There are plenty of remote places in Scotland, and while you don’t always have to fly to reach them it can save you quite a bit of time (and, in some cases, seasickness). Here are a few of the airports serving Scotland’s Higlands and Islands.
- Kirkwall Airport (KOI) – On the Orkney Islands; served by Flybe and Loganair.
- Stornoway Airport (SYY) – On the Isle of Lewis; served by Eastern Airways, Flybe, and Loganair.
- Sumburgh Airport (LSI) – On the Shetland archipelago; served by Atlantic Airways, Flybe, and Loganair.
- Wick Airport (WIC) – At the northern tip of mainland Scotland, across from the Orkney Islands; served by Eastern Airways, Flybe, and Loganair.
photo by califlier001