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BAA Reports July 2009 Traffic at Airports in UK

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BAA's UK airports recorded further signs of stabilising traffic figures with the results for July 2009, which was the busiest July at Heathrow since 2006 and Heathrow's third-busiest month on record.

In July 2009, BAA airports handled 14.5 million passengers, down 2.4% compared to July 2008, following decreases of 5.9% in June and 7.3% in May.

Heathrow handled 6.5 million passengers in July, an increase of 0.9% on July 2008.

Across the group as a whole there was a return to growth of 1.2% in European scheduled traffic and 4.8% in long haul traffic, excluding North Atlantic, with Heathrow up by 5.5%.

UK domestic traffic was 4.8% lower and European charters fell by 18.6%. North Atlantic traffic was 8.0% lower overall but only by 2.1% at Heathrow.

Results at Gatwick and Stansted also improved. At Gatwick the reduction on last year was cut from 7.6% in June to 4.8% in July, largely thanks to a 5.8% increase in European scheduled traffic. At Stansted the improvement was even more pronounced, from a drop of 11.5% in June to one of 5.7% in July.

In Scotland, Edinburgh's traffic grew by 5.6%, the fourth consecutive month the capital's airport has recorded growth. At Glasgow, traffic was down by 12.9% and at Aberdeen, the airport handled 9% fewer passengers than July 2008. The decline in traffic at Southampton was reduced from 7.9% in June to 0.9% in July.

Overall the number of air transport movements at BAA's UK airports was down by 5.1%. At Heathrow the reduction in flights (-3%), combined with the increase in passengers, produced the highest ever figure for the average number of passengers per aircraft - at 162. The three regulated London airports together recorded a 2% reduction, bolstered by Heathrow's continued strength.

Cargo activity, as measured by tonnes carried, although still lower year on year, was also on an improving trend with the rate of decrease cut to 11.7% in July.

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