Cash Aid For UK Airlines.

The UK government has announced a GBP 40 million compensation package for UK airlines following the 11 September attacks.

The BBC reports that the money will cover lost revenue for the period during which American airspace was closed, as well as the cost of dealing with passengers stranded at the wrong airports.

Transport Secretary Stephen Byers said “the circumstances ... are indeed exceptional and therefore merit exceptional assistance.” The aid package is subject to a European Union agreement not to subsidise airlines beyond the immediate effects of the terrorist attacks.

Separately, the effects of the 11 September attacks have continued to hit passenger numbers at the UK`s major airports, according to BAA figures. BAA, which runs seven airports including London`s Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted, said passenger numbers were 10.6% lower last month than in November 2000.

Thursday`s figures also confirmed reports by budget carriers of growing trade, crediting a 10.5% rise in traffic on Irish routes to “competition amongst low cost scheduled airlines”.