Breaking Travel News

Strong passenger growth at BAA despite economic uncertainty

Strong passenger growth at BAA despite economic uncertainty

A total of 9.1 million passengers passed through the five airports UK airports operated by BAA in June 2012, up 0.7 per cent on June 2011.

This included an increase of 1.6 per cent at Heathrow to more than 6.2 million passengers, a record for the month.

Around 33.6 million passengers have already passed through the airport in the first six months of 2012, a record for the first half of the year, with 47.4 million travelling through BAA-operated airports as a whole.

Cargo movement across the group was up 0.2 per cent on the same month last year, a slight improvement on recent trends and a more positive situation than seen across the European air freight industry over the last few months.

Stansted saw traffic fall 3.4 per cent in June compared with last year, whilst Glasgow reported an increase of 4.5 per cent.

Aberdeen continued its strong underlying performance, with its 1.3 per cent increase in traffic occurring despite weather disruptions during the month.

The net result was an increase across the two Scottish airports of 3.5 per cent.

Load factor in the month was above 80 per cent, a record for June and up one percentage point on June 2011.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Continued growth in passenger numbers are evidence of BAA’s consistent performance in a challenging economic climate. But the contrast between the upward trend in passenger numbers to the BRIC economies and the downward trend for those countries most affected by the Eurozone crisis, once again shines the light on the importance to the UK economy of building direct connections with the BRIC countries.”

Growth in European traffic at Heathrow has moderated during 2012 with resilience in markets such as Germany, France and Switzerland offset by weakness in southern European markets such as Italy, Greece and Portugal.

In contrast, the BRIC markets are performing strongly with, for example, traffic with Brazil growing by more than 20 per cent over the first half of the year and the recent introduction of the new China Southern route to Guangzhou, which took eight years to come to fruition, having an immediate positive effect on passenger numbers between China and Heathrow.