6th May: WeDO Inspiration with Gordon Dewar

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  • WeDO Inspiration
     6 May 2021
     12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

    Last summer, we were delighted to have Gordon Dewar, CEO of Edinburgh Airport join us at one of our ‘In The Trenches’ event.  Back by popular demand, with an update almost one year on, we’re thrilled that Gordon is once again joining us.

    Gordon has been in his current role for 8 years and during this time, pre-pandemic, Edinburgh Airport grew to become the busiest in Scotland and the 6th busiest in the UK.  In 2019, passenger numbers grew to 14.7M and 37 airlines flew 221 routes to 158 destinations.  Before the pandemic, Edinburgh Airport directly employed over 600 people and their on-site partner operations, brought the total number of employees to 7,000.  In 2018, it was named Airport of the Year at the National Transport Awards.

    In the last 12 months, Edinburgh Airport has recorded its lowest number of passengers since 1995, painting a bleak outlook as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.  With restrictions starting to ease in some sectors, the ongoing ban on international travel is having devastating effects.

    The airport handled a little under 3.5 million passengers in 2020 – a 76% reduction on the previous year – which is estimated to have cost the Scottish economy around £1 billion.

    Most recently, Gordon has warned of the decline of global influence.  He has predicted that unless urgent action is taken, Scotland will support fewer direct routes in the future, with individuals and businesses forced to fly or export goods through London or European hub airports.

    “Scotland has collectively built an impressive network of international air services in the last 20 years, which provides the country with the connectivity on which our global influence and competitiveness depends.

    That network is being undermined by the lack of a detailed Covid-19 recovery plan that we can, as a country, present to airlines to give them the confidence to fly to and from Scotland.

    It’s imperative that the recovery plan is well-structured and comprehensive and that it engages industry and is not just imposed without an appreciation of the realities of the sector.”

    As with many businesses, the Edinburgh Airport has furloughed many employees and has regretfully had to make redundancies during the pandemic, Gordon has consistently called on the Scottish Government to better engage the airport and airlines, and he continues to do so with the next Government post-election.  He believes that the uncertainty from the Government will lead to a reduction in the number of direct flights in the early recovery.

    Join us to hear Gordon’s thoughts on the past year, the challenges he has faced and his predictions for the travel industry going forward.  This is a not to be missed event!


    Gordon took up the post of Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport in July 2012. Rebranding the airport as the place where ‘Scotland meets the world’, he has overseen significant capital investment in capacity, productivity improvements and customer service enhancements that have been recognised through airport and wider business awards in Scotland, the UK and internationally.  Gordon spent four years with BAA, from 2007 to 2010, running Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports through periods of extensive investments in terminal capacity and passenger growth. He then spent two years as Chief Executive at Bahrain International Airport, creating an independent and profitable business.

    Gordon is a Board Member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance – the voice of the Scottish tourist industry.  He is a former Director of the Airport Operators Association, the Scottish Police Authority and Visit Scotland.

    In 2015, Gordon won the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Director of the Year Award.

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