BAA hit by drop in holiday flight market

A dip in holiday flights meant BAA's six UK airports handled slightly fewer passengers last month than in August 2009 despite a rise in Heathrow numbers, it was announced yesterday.

A total of just under 10.65 million people passed through the six airports in August 2010 – a 0.6 per cent fall on August last year.

Heathrow recorded its busiest-ever August and its second busiest month, with numbers rising to 6.54 million – a 2.5 per cent increase on August 2009.

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BAA said Heathrow benefited from its greater exposure to the business travel sector, while its other UK airports depended more on "the currently weak UK outbound leisure market".

It added that this holiday- flight market "continues to be adversely affected by the continuing economic uncertainty that has led to casualties among smaller UK tour operators".

European scheduled traffic was up 10.4 per cent at Heathrow last month.

But at Stansted airport, reductions in airline seat capacity contributed to a 6.1 per cent drop in passengers carried.

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Glasgow airport handled 9.4 per cent fewer passengers last month, while Edinburgh's traffic reduced by 0.2 per cent overall, although European traffic grew by 9.4 per cent.

Aberdeen and Southampton recorded decreases of 4.0 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively.