Challenging market sees BAA traffic fall

Challenging market sees BAA traffic fall

Traffic at all but one of BAA’s British airports fell over the last year, according to the latest figures released today.

While Edinburgh Airport has remained resilient – generating passenger growth of 1.6 per cent between February 2009 and February 2010 – numbers fell at the group’s five other UK locations.

Glasgow was worst hit, with traffic down by 10.5 per cent over the year, while Aberdeen Airport (nine per cent down) and Stansted Airport (9.6 per cent down) were also hard hit.

More moderate falls were also recorded at London’s Heathrow Airport and Southampton Airport.

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In from the cold…

However, there were signs the situation could be improving for infrastructure group, which is owned by a consortium led by Grupo Ferrovial, a Spanish firm specialising in infrastructure.

Heathrow traffic grew 5.3 per cent between January and February this year; as it was largely free of snow in February 2010 and remains more resilient than other UK airports.

Traffic grew by 5.9 per cent at Southampton, with most of the gain attributable to the recovery from bad weather this time last year, while 3.5 per cent growth at Edinburgh was spurred by improved weather and Six Nations rugby traffic.

Colin Matthews, BAA’s chief executive officer, said: “Heathrow remains resilient and other airports are beginning to see encouraging signs.

“However, traffic remains depressed, reflecting tough conditions in the economy generally and in aviation specifically.”

For the first time in two years, domestic traffic across BAA was up, by 1.1 per cent. 

European scheduled services recorded a 2.6 per cent increase and North Atlantic traffic was up by 2.7 per cent; despite several periods of heavy snow in the Mid-West and North Eastern parts of the US.

Other long haul traffic rose by four per cent overall with strong contributions from services to China (up 6.8 per cent), the Middle East (up 11.1 per cent) and South America (up 17.6 per cent).