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BAA Reports UK Airport Passenger Traffic for May 2009

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The UK airports owned and operated by BAA handled a total of 11.8 million passengers in May 2009, a drop of 7.3% on the same month last year. Heathrow recorded a smaller drop of 3.9%, again demonstrating the resilience and importance of Britain’s international hub airport.

This remains consistent with the underlying traffic trends recorded since December last year, providing more evidence that demand conditions remain weak but are not changing materially.

Among the major market segments European scheduled traffic was down by 5.2% and North Atlantic traffic by 9.1%, while other long haul routes recorded a collective 1.8% decrease. The results in both long haul segments represented slight improvements on recent underlying trends while European scheduled performance was unchanged.

Domestic traffic was down by 10%, a slight worsening on recent months, but despite falling by 20.5% European charter traffic actually improved on its recent underlying trend.

Edinburgh was the only airport to record an increase (+1.4%), helped by new low-cost services. This is the second consecutive month in which Edinburgh’s traffic has grown.

Elsewhere, Gatwick improved on recent trends with a decrease of 6.5%. The improvement in Gatwick’s position can be attributed to part of the impact of Open Skies now being included in the 2008 data to which current performance is compared and a strengthened summer schedule. Traffic at Stansted fell by 18.5%, as some airlines continued to reduce capacity in response to the difficult economic conditions.

Taking the three London airports together, the reduction measured 7.4%. Glasgow’s 11.7% drop continued the pattern of the last six months, Aberdeen recorded a 14.1% decline and Southampton’s traffic was down 12.5%.

In total the number of air transport movements was 8% lower (Heathrow -2.9%).

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