BAA Airports return to growth

Posted: 11 February 2011 | BAA | No comments yet

BAA’s airports handled a total of 7.5 million passengers in January, an increase of 3.8% over January 2010…

BAA’s airports handled a total of 7.5 million passengers in January, an increase of 3.8% over January 2010.

Domestic traffic grew most strongly in January (up 8.3%), having been affected more than other markets by snow across the UK in the same month last year. European scheduled traffic was up by 2.7% and North Atlantic traffic was 3.2% higher. Other long haul routes were up by 4.5% overall, including increases of 30% on routes to China and 10% on Indian services. This was Heathrow’s strongest January long-haul performance in its history.

Heathrow recorded an increase of 4.6% to 5.05 million passengers. Roughly half of this increase is attributed to the bad weather in January 2010, which was also a factor at other UK airports. Stansted was down by 5.8% on last year, although in its case the underlying reduction is estimated to have been closer to 4.5% because of a net gain from aircraft diversions in January 2010.

Each of the Scottish airports and Southampton recorded increases against January 2010. Edinburgh recorded the largest increase in traffic, bolstered by new scheduled routes to Europe and North Africa. Actual and results adjusted to reflect bad weather in January 2010 are summarised below:-


At group level the number of air transport movements was up by 5.9%, with Heathrow 8.9% higher. Air cargo growth remains strong, with an 8.5% overall increase and a 9.3% gain at Heathrow.

Business commentary and outlook

BAA’s airports returned to growth in January 2011.

Heathrow’s strong performance on long-haul routes was supported by important trading connections to China and India. Furthermore, Heathrow is the UK’s busiest freight port by value and strong air cargo growth indicates a recovery in the manufacturing and export sectors.

In Scotland, the number of passengers using BAA’s three airports is growing, as services are restored by airlines replacing those operated by Flyglobespan. At Stansted, low-cost airlines continue to reduce capacity.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, said:

“Passengers want quality service at our airports, from the beginning to the end of their journeys. The better we collaborate with airlines and ground handlers, the better the experience will be for customers both in normal operations and during disruption.

“We are working with all of the companies at Heathrow and elsewhere to improve passenger experience and make our airports more resilient, building strong contingency plans.

“The underlying performance of our airports is strong, reflecting an improving economic environment.

“In particular, Heathrow’s strong performance and our £5 billion investment programme is good for the British economy and for passengers. In Scotland, we can see encouraging signs of growth, reflecting investment in new routes and we are pleased to see traffic at Southampton increasing.”

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