BAA‘s seven UK airports continue to feel the economic chill, handling one million fewer passengers last month than November last year.
Gatwick was among the hardest hit of BAA’s portfolio, with passengers down 13.2 per cent. Stansted also suffered, 13.2 per cent lower, with BAA putting this down to the effects of airline service cutbacks.BAA said all of its key markets had been hit primarily by the downturn, most significantly European charter traffic, which fell by 17 per cent. The demonstrations at Bangkok airport as well as a strike at Air France also contributed to the poor figures.
Overall numbers for the seven airports fell to 9.8 million from 10.8 million, representing a 8.9 per cent decrease.
Domestic traffic was down by 12.7 per cent, European scheduled traffic by 9.1 per cent and North Atlantic routes by 9.2 per cent. However other long-haul services withstood the downturn better, down by just 3.1 per cent.
The company blamed the slump at Gatwick on the new Open Skies treaty, and “further airline contractions”.
In Scotland, BAA said Glasgow airport’s passenger numbers were down 15.6 per cent on November last year, with Aberdeen down 11.5 per cent and Edinburgh down 7.8 per cent.
BAA said in a statement: “BAA expects, on the evidence of historic economic downturns and the resulting effect on air traffic, that the long-term prospects for growth remain good and that passenger volumes will recover in due course.”