BAA reports gradual recovery from slump in passenger numbers

Click to follow
The Independent Online

BAA, which owns Heathrow and Gatwick, yesterday said a record 133 million passengers travelled through its seven airports last year, as international routes bounced back from the adverse effects of Sars and war.

BAA, which owns Heathrow and Gatwick, yesterday said a record 133 million passengers travelled through its seven airports last year, as international routes bounced back from the adverse effects of Sars and war.

The main driver for the bumper numbers was a 16 per cent surge in people travelling from Stansted, which handled 19.4 million passengers in the 12 months to 1 April. Those figures are expected to mushroom when the detailed go-ahead is given for a second runway at the Essex airport.

Heathrow and Gatwick also saw increases in the amount of business they handled. Travellers using the key hub at Heathrow rose 2 per cent to 64 million, while Gatwick's volumes rose 1.4 per cent to 30 million. "Traffic growth was slow in the early months of the year due to the Iraq war but improved as the year progressed," the company said.

The company highlighted a gradual recovery in demand for North Atlantic routes, as more American passengers braved fears of terrorist attack to fly to Europe. Overall, north Atlantic traffic rose 0.3 per cent for the year.

The only area in which passenger numbers dipped in 2003 was in European charter flights, were traffic fell 3 per cent. Transportation of goods also fell 1.3 per cent due to a slow recovery in world trade, BAA said. BAA's shares rose 6p to 533p.

Comments