International and domestic traffic over the year increased by 9.2% and 5.5% respectively, thanks to the introduction of 25 new routes and services in 2016.
The airport significantly increased its connections to European cities with the introduction of services to Marseille, Sofia and Brussels. Glasgow also strengthened its position as Scotland’s principal long-haul airport with a new direct Toronto route and additional services to Orlando.
In 2016, Glasgow also became the first airport in Scotland to establish a direct service to South Korea with the introduction of inbound charter services from Seoul through flag carrier Korean Air.
In December more than 627,000 people travelled through the airport, an increase of 10.2% on the same period in 2015, with international traffic up by 16.6% and domestic by 4.9%.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “2016 was an unforgettable year with so many highlights. To record our best-ever passenger numbers month after month and to carry 9.4 million passengers was a huge accomplishment and to do it in our Golden Anniversary was extra special.
“It was also particularly pleasing that we were able to considerably increase our connectivity across Europe and this is set to continue in 2017 with the launch of six new routes to Munich, Bergen, Lisbon, Valencia, Palanga in Lithuania and Zadar in Croatia.
“December’s performance ensured we ended what was a hugely successful year on a high. Looking ahead, I’m confident that the efforts made to continually grow and enhance our route network has put Glasgow Airport on a firm trajectory towards the 10-million passenger mark.
“If we are to realise further growth we must remain competitive with other European airports, so it’s imperative that the Scottish Government’s proposed 50% cut on APD goes ahead as soon as possible.
“APD places Scotland’s airports at a severe disadvantage when it comes to competing for new routes and this cut provides the opportunity, particularly post-Brexit, to send a clear message to airlines that Scotland remains open for business.”
Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said: “It feels very fitting that these record-breaking passenger numbers come in Glasgow Airport’s 50th anniversary year and I congratulate everyone involved for this fantastic achievement.
“It’s exciting to see the airport go from strength-to-strength, securing new routes and services including Scotland’s first direct link with South Korea.
“All this hard work has led to well-deserved awards, with the airport being named Scottish Airport of the Year and ACI Europe’s European Airport of the Year.
“I have every confidence Glasgow Airport will continue to build on this success and I look forward to seeing it continue to soar in 2017.”
Glasgow Airport picked up three major industry accolades in 2016 - Scotland’s Airport of the Year for the second year in a row and the Airport Operators Association’s (AOA) Best Airport (3-10 Million Passengers), again for the second consecutive year. Glasgow was also named Airport Council International (ACI) Europe’s Best Airport (5-10 Million Passengers).
Throughout the year, 99.45% of passengers travelled through security in under 10 minutes.