The number of passengers using BAA airports dropped by 7.3 percent in May compared to the same month last year, as the credit crunch and the weakness of sterling put off all but non-essential travel.
Stansted was the worst performing of BAA’s seven airports, where traffic fell 18.5 percent as many airlines continued to cut capacity and leisure travellers pulled the reigns on short breaks and all non-essential travel. But BAA said the drop in the number of passengers at its seven airports to 11.8 million was in line with the downward trends seen since December, and that while demand remained weak, patterns had not changed materially.
Scheduled traffic to Europe was down by 5.2 per cent, and Transatlantic numbers fell by 9.1 per cent.
Heathrow reported one of the smallest decreases at 3.9 percent, which BAA said demonstrated “the resilience and importance of Britain’s international hub airport”.
Gatwick, although down 6.5 percent compared to May last year, had also picked up over the last quarter as it began to reap the rewards of the Open Skies agreement, plus carriers streamlining their routes away from other London airports.
In Scotland, Edinburgh notched up the only rise of BAA’s portfolio. Passengers numbers were up 1.4 percent due to new low-cost services. It was however a dimmer picture for its two other Scottish airport - Aberdeen was down 14.1 percent and Glasgow 11.7 percent lower.