BAA reports 10.9% fall in December passenger numbers

| January 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Airports operator BAA has today reported a sharp fall in passenger numbers at its six British airports in December - hit by the heavy snowfall which gripped most of the country during the month.

BAA, which is majority owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, said the big freeze cost it £24 million as Heathrow and other airports were forced to close leading up to the busy Christmas period.

The group said 7.2 million passengers flew from its UK airports during the month, down 10.9% compared with December 2009.

The group attributed the severe decline in passenger numbers to the bad weather.

Heathrow, which is the UK’s main airport, experienced a 9.5% fall in passenger numbers but all airports suffered with numbers at Southampton airport down 22% and Edinburgh seeing a loss of 18.4%.

BAA’s chief executive, Colin Matthews, apologised for the disruption and, just prior to Christmas, announced he would forgo his bonus after saying he was “responsible” for the recent crisis at Heathrow airport.

In the meantime, for 2010 overall, BAA said it had handled 103.9 million passengers, down 2.8% on the previous year. However, this also included the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in spring last year.

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