BAA sees recovery in passenger traffic

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The Independent Online
FURTHER evidence of recovery in the airline market emerged yesterday as BAA, the airports group, announced it handled 6.1 million passengers in March - an increase of 6.2 per cent on a year earlier.

In the first quarter of the year passenger traffic at BAA's seven airports was up by nearly 8 per cent compared with the first three months of 1992.

European and long-haul scheduled traffic led the way in March, with both sectors recording increases of 9.6 per cent. There was also a 5.5 per cent increase in domestic passengers. The only market to decline was short- haul charter, where traffic fell by 4.2 per cent.

Although the improvement was broadly in line with expectations, the figures nevertheless propelled BAA's shares 10p higher to close at 793p.

Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted all recorded higher passenger levels, although at Gatwick the increase was just 0.2 per cent.

Traffic at Heathrow increased 8.3 per cent over the year to March and 8.4 per cent in the quarter. The comparable figures for Stansted were 5.7 and 22.7 per cent - a fillip to the airport after the loss of American Airlines, its only long-haul carrier.

BAA's three Scottish airports, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, increased passenger levels by 8.2 per cent. Cargo tonnage was up 7.3 per cent to 95,000 tonnes.

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