Heathrow handled 6.6 million passengers in August 2011, up 0.7% on the previous year and the airport’s busiest ever August. In addition, the airport reported 82.2% of seats were filled on Heathrow flights.
North Atlantic was the strongest performing market for Heathrow, with 71,000 more passengers than in August 2010. There was a significant increase in passenger flights on a number of North Atlantic routes including Montreal (up 50.0% in August 2011 compared to August 2010) and Detroit (up 41.9%). These figures are particularly notable given the impact of Hurricane Irene. BAA estimates that around 40,000 additional passengers would have travelled through Heathrow had it not been for the hurricane.
BAA’s UK airports handled 10.7 million passengers in August 2011, an increase of 0.2% on the same month last year. All markets grew except UK domestic, which was down by 5.5% as a result of reduced capacity. At Heathrow, domestic traffic fell by 13.2%. Other long-haul traffic grew by 0.6% and European scheduled was up by 0.3%.
There was strong growth in passenger numbers at BAA’s Scottish airports. A 3.0% rise in passengers made August the sixth consecutive record month for Edinburgh. Passenger numbers grew by 5.5% at Glasgow and 6.7% at Aberdeen respectively, compared to August 2010.
Southampton saw a 2.4% rise in passengers and Stansted was alone in recording a drop in traffic of 5.1%. This was a result of cutbacks in airline capacity. However, Stansted reported a record load factor, filling 89.3% of seats on its planes.
At BAA Group level the number of air transport movements fell by 0.2%. For the fifth time in the last 6 months there was a drop in air cargo tonnage at BAA’s airports. This is consistent with wider air cargo industry trends as the growth in world trade decelerates.
Colin Matthews, BAA’s Chief Executive, said:
“Together with our airline customers, we served a record number of passengers this summer. Our passengers tell us we are delivering a better service for them and we are investing £1billion a year in new passenger facilities.”