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Passenger surge at BAA

Last month's three-day strike cut British Airways' passenger numbers in July by 200,000, according to BAA,the airports operator. However BAA still entertained a record number of passengers, writes Chris Godsmark.

BAA, which runs Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, revealed a 6 per cent surge in overall passengers last month, compared with July a year ago, to 10.2 million, a record figure for a single month. It means that in the 12 months to July BAA handled more than 100 million passengers for the first time.

The figures helped BAA shares rise 2p to 587.5p despite a falling stock market.

The drop in British Airways' passenger numbers, most of which were hit by the strike action at Heathrow Airport, represented 2 per cent of BAA's traffic. However the strike took a bigger toll on the number of plane movements, which rose in July by just 2 per cent, a much lower increase than total passenger numbers, to 90,064.

British Airways recently revealed that the dispute, by cabin crew, would cost the airline pounds 125m.