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BAA reports UK Airports’ 2008 and December Traffic Figures

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For the year 2008, a total of 145.8 million passengers travelled through BAA’s UK airports, an overall drop of 2.8% compared to 2007. During December, BAA’s seven UK airports handled a total of 10.2 million passengers, a decrease of 6.9% on the same month last year.

Compared to 2007, Heathrow’s overall number of passengers dropped by just 1.4% in 2008. Gatwick was down by 2.8% and Stansted witnessed a drop of 6% year on year.

After three months of worsening results the December figures represented a smaller drop than recorded in November, almost certainly attributable to the strength of demand for the Christmas-period travel.

Over the month as a whole European scheduled traffic was 6.5% lower and North Atlantic fell by 6.7%. Other long haul routes saw a dip of just 2.8%. UK Domestic and Irish markets both recorded decreases of 8.8%.

Among individual airports Heathrow was down by 2.3%, helped by its greater share of the currently stronger markets and by the continued gains arising from the Open Skies agreement. Gatwick was down overall by 13.8% within which its North Atlantic traffic, partly as a result of Open Skies losses to Heathrow.

Stansted was 13% down on last year and Southampton was -5.4%. In Scotland the trend for each airport improved when compared to the November results with Edinburgh -2.5%, Aberdeen -3.2% and Glasgow 10.7% lower. Year on year, the Scottish airports carried 3.6% less passengers in 2008 compared to 2007.

In total the number of air transport movements was 5.8% lower than last December as many airlines trimmed services in line with weakening demand. After a three month sequence of gradually declining figures air cargo tonnage fell by 15.1% in December.

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