Ash cloud fall out hits BAA

Ash cloud fall out hits BAA

UK airport operator BAA has said the number of passengers using its airports fell in May because of continued disruption from the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud and the British Airways strike.

BAA’s six airports – Heathrow, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton – handled 8.6 million passengers in the month, representing a fall of 4.5 percent compared with May 2009.

BAA said without the impact of the ash and the strike that it would have expected traffic to have increased 0.4 percent.

British Airways cabin crew walked out for a total of six days last month as part of the on-going dispute over pay and working conditions. The airline has said that the number of passengers it carried last month fell by 14.2 percent from a year ago, partly due to the strikes.

Heathrow was one of the hardest hit, handling 3.2 million passengers, down 6 percent year-on-year.  Without these impacts, it is estimated that it would have recorded an increase of 2.8 percent.

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However cargo continuing a period of strong recovery. Cargo tonnage was up by 36.1 percent at Heathrow and by 33.7 percent at the wider group level.