Air travel sees first fall since 1991
Air travel is on course to fall for the first time in two decades after the airports operator BAA revealed that the annual number of passengers collapsed at the end of last year.
BAA, which owns seven airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, handled 145.8 million passengers in 2008 – 2.8 per cent down on 2007. The year-on-year numbers fell by 8.9 per cent in November and 6.9 per cent in December.
The falls are likely to herald the end of unbroken growth in British air traffic every year since 1991. Tour operators cutting package holidays, the collapse of the third biggest tour company, XL Leisure, and the reputation of British airports for long security delays have all put off passengers.
The figures almost certainly herald an annual fall in British passenger numbers because BAA accounts for 60 per cent of national traffic, but the total will only be known when regional airports announce figures for December at the end of this month.
The number of flights taking off from British airports fell by 1 per cent in the year to November 2008, according to the air traffic service NATS.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Winnie the Pooh banned from Polish playground for being 'inappropriate hermaphrodite'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
£60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...