11 February 2011

BAA Ltd’s six UK airports handled a total of 7.5 million passengers in January 2011, an increase of 3.8% over January 2010. Domestic traffic grew most strongly (up 8.3%), having been affected more than other markets by snow across the UK in the same month last year. European scheduled traffic was up by 2.7% and North Atlantic traffic was 3.2% higher.

Other long-haul routes were up by 4.5% overall, including increases of 30% on routes to China and 10% on Indian services. It was also Heathrow’s strongest January long-haul performance in its history, with an increase of 4.6% to 5.05 million passengers. Roughly half of this increase is attributed to the bad weather in January 2010, which was also a factor at BAA Ltd’s other UK airports.

Stansted Airport was down by 5.8% on last year, although in its case the underlying reduction is estimated to have been closer to 4.5% because of a net gain from aircraft diversions in January 2010. Edinburgh recorded a 13.6% increase in traffic, bolstered by new scheduled routes to Europe and North Africa. Aberdeen was up 9.1%, Glasgow up 8.0% and Southampton up 4.8%.

At group level the number of air transport movements was up by 5.9%, with Heathrow 8.9% higher. Air cargo growth remains strong, with an 8.5% overall increase and a 9.3% gain at Heathrow.