PASSENGER numbers have grown at Birmingham Airport for the first time in two years, bosses have revealed.
A total of 522,562 people flew in and out of the hub during January, up 0.2 per cent on the same month in 2010.
Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe said that although the increase was small, it hinted that the market was starting to recover and encouraging news ahead of plans to extend the runway.
“It says to me that we are at the bottom of the market and that we will come back,” he said.
“I say that cautiously because things are happening in the Middle East and north Africa and they could affect us.
“We’ve got to be realistic because the market is very twitchy and some established routes have closed at other airports.
“But our business passengers are coming back and the routes to European capitals are growing.
“It gives us confidence that we will get back to profitability sooner rather than later.”
Mr Kehoe said that the market had been buoyed by the number of passengers leaving Birmingham for Dubai smashing through the 1,000-a-day barrier last year.
Other services which linked the city indirectly with India via Tehran in Iran and the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat had also grown in popularity since Air India withdrew direct flights in 2008, he said.