BAA’s UK airports handled a total of 9.9m
passengers in November 2009. This amounted to an increase of 0.8%
over the same month last year but, more significantly it marked
the first time since March 2008 that BAA’s airports have recorded
a collective increase, and follows a six-month run of gradually
In November, Heathrow’s continued resilience is
highlighted by the fourth monthly increase in the last five
months. Traffic at the UK’s main hub increased by 1.1%, reflecting
improving consumer confidence and an improving load factor across
each of Heathrow’s markets – the Heathrow-wide load factor was up
2.6 points to 70.7%. Gatwick marked its last full month under BAA
ownership with a 4.5% increase, while Edinburgh was up 1.3% on
Colin Matthews, BAA’s chief executive, said,
“Global market conditions remain challenging, but these figures
are encouraging. There is evidence that consumer confidence is
growing and Heathrow’s strong network continues to perform well.”
Although still lower than this time last year, Stansted (down
2.7%) saw the sharpest reduction in its rate of decline since
March 2008, as a result of a largely stable pattern of services in
comparison with the first month of the winter season last year.
Glasgow’s traffic was down by 4.7% in November, and there were
also falls at Aberdeen (down 4.2%) and Southampton (down 2.5%).
Naples airport showed growth of 8.3% compared to November 2008.
Among the major markets there were increases of 4.7% in
European scheduled traffic and 4.1% in traffic on long haul routes
(other than over the North Atlantic). The North Atlantic market
was 6.8% lower than a year ago. Domestic traffic recorded a drop
Reflecting a continuing trend of rising airline
load factors there was a group wide drop of 1.4% in air transport
movements, despite the increase in passengers carried. Group wide
the load factor of planes leaving BAA’s airports, a measure of how
full the aircraft are, was up 1.8 points to 71.2%. Cargo activity
also continued its recent sharp improvement with an increase of
6.2% in what is usually one of the busiest months of the year.
Only Glasgow failed to share in the widespread pattern of growth.
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