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BAA Reports on UK Airport Traffic

December 10, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

BAA is reporting that passenger traffic at London Heathrow Airport grew 4.3 percent during November compared to the same month last year, a fifth consecutive record month of traffic.

For the first nine months of 2010, Heathrow passengers passed through security in fewer than five minutes 97.9 percent of the time.

In October, baggage arrived on carousels on average 34 minutes after the plane touched down. This is one minute ahead of the airport's target of 35 minutes, and three minutes quicker than the 2009 figure of 37 minutes.

The aviation industry has continued its efficiency drive with a continuing rise in load factors, which shows how full planes are, at Heathrow (up 1 percent) to 71.7 percent and at group level (up 1.3 percent) to 72.1 percent.

However, fog, snow and strong winds across the UK and Northern Europe dented passenger numbers by about 130,000 across BAA’s six airports. Without the bad weather, the underlying result would have been an increase of 2.7 percent.

At Heathrow, domestic traffic was up 3.2 percent, while European scheduled traffic rose 7.5 percent. North Atlantic services carried 4.4 percent more passengers and other long-haul routes recorded a collective increase of 2.1 percent.

Traffic from China (including Hong Kong) rose by 9.7 percent and visitors from India increased by 5.3 percent, reflecting how important these links are to securing the UK’s economic future.

As a whole, BAA’s airports handled 7.9 million passengers during November, up 1.0 percent compared with the same period last year. Domestic traffic was the only major market to see a decrease, down 3.6 percent due mainly to weather disruption.

A reduction in low-cost airline capacity was the main factor behind the drop of 7.6 percent at Stansted, while at Southampton most of the 3.2 percent decrease could be attributed to the adverse weather late in the month.

Without the severe weather in Scotland and elsewhere, Glasgow might have reached last year’s November total. However, as a result of the snow, volumes fell by 0.8 percent. Snow disruption was worst in the East of Scotland, as Edinburgh (down 3.9 percent) lost at least 50,000 passengers while Aberdeen (down 1.9 percent) lost around 15,000.



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