Snow hits air passenger numbers

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The Independent Travel

The heavy snow at the beginning of the year caused a dip in passenger numbers at major UK airports, it was revealed today.

The number of passengers handled at BAA's six UK airports last month totalled 7.2 million - a fall of 3.1 per cent compared with January 2009.



The decline was most marked in Scotland where numbers at Aberdeen Airport fell 13.6 per cent, with Glasgow down 12.2 per cent and Edinburgh declining by 7.4 per cent.



There was a 9.7 per cent fall at Southampton, while Stansted was down 5.6 per cent and Heathrow handled 0.5 per cent fewer passengers.



BAA said that without the weather disruption, numbers at Heathrow last month would have grown by an estimated 2.5 per cent, while the overall decline at the six airports would have been only 0.3 per cent.



BAA chief executive Colin Matthews added: "There is no doubt that the market remains a difficult one, and certainly the snow didn't help, but, equally, there are encouraging signs of growth, particularly on the routes out of Heathrow to the Middle East and South America, as well as cargo.



"This once again underlines Heathrow's role as the UK's only hub airport."

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