BAA traffic hit as UK grounds itself

10th Feb 2009

The global downturn has forced the number of long-haul passengers flying from
Gatwick Airport to drop by almost a quarter (24 percent) last month compared to January 2008.
BAA also reported a slump in traffic across all its seven airports - down 6.3 percent in January to 9.4 million. This comes on top of a fall of 6.9 percent in December and 8.9 percent in November.The latest monthly figures will come as a particularly bitter blow to BAA’s owner Ferrovial as the worse drop was registered at Gatwick and Stansted, the two airports which the Competition Commission is expected to force it to sell.
At Gatwick, total passenger numbers fell 10.8 percent in January. Stansted fared even worse; down 11.5 percent. Heathrow’s traffic was 2.1 percent.
The numbers using BAA’s three Scottish airports in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow also fell by a combined 8.7 percent.
BAA cited the slide in Gatwick traffic on the collapse of Zoom and XL, along with a huge drop-off in long-haul flight, most notably transatlantic traffic.

In all 9.4 million passengers flew from BAA’s airports in January.
European charter flights across all seven airports was down 9.3 percent, UK traffic 12 percent down, and North America 5.9 percent lower.

BAA is aiming to complete the sale of Gatwick by the end of May. It is aiming to gain around ?1.8 billion though if the slide in passengers continues, the value is likely to fall.


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