BAA airports see 4% drop in passengers

BAA's airports, which include Heathrow and Stansted, handled 4.2 per cent fewer passengers in 2009 than in 2008, it was announced today.

The figures, which do not include the recently-sold Gatwick, showed that 106.9 million passengers passed through BAA's six remaining UK airports last year.

The rate of decline did slow in the last three months of the year, although the pre-Christmas cold snap meant the December 2009 passenger total was 0.9 per cent down on December 2008.

These were the 2009 figures for the six airports:

* Heathrow - down 1.5 per cent on 2008 to 65.9 million;

* Stansted - down 10.7 per cent to 20.0 million;

* Southampton - down 8.2 per cent to 1.8 million;

* Edinburgh - up 0.6 per cent to 9.0 million;

* Glasgow - down 11.3 per cent to 7.2 million;

* Aberdeen - down 9.4 per cent to 3.0 million.

BAA said it reckoned the bad weather last month accounted for 150,000 lost passengers in December 2009, when its six airports handled eight million travellers. Also, Scottish airports were hit by the collapse of the Flyglobespan operation.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said today: "2009 was a difficult year for our airline customers. Towards the end of the year, we saw signs of improvements, particularly at Heathrow, but there are more challenging times ahead in 2010."