Passenger figures down at a number of UK airports during September

Full data from the CAA (provisional) airport statistics for September

18.10.2008   (UK Airport News)

Exeter Airport passengers down 5%

There has been a fall in the number of passengers flying from Exeter Airport as people cut back on air travel. Figures for last month show a drop of 5% in
the number of passengers jetting off from the airport compared to the same period
last year. The number of flights fell by 8%, or 50 across the month.

Airport deputy managing director Jamie Christon said: ‘The economic downturn
is one of the reasons the figures are down. People haven’t got the money for discretionary
leisure travel. These figures weren’t unexpected. People are still going on holiday,
they just can’t afford the extra breaks they were previously taking.’


Drop in passengers at Norwich Airport


Norwich Airport passenger numbers have dropped by more than 11% in the past year, the Evening
News reports.  
Air travel across the UK is declining, with an average drop in customers of 4.5
percent, but out of all the regional airports Norwich saw the biggest drop, with
11.4 percent fewer passengers last month, than last year.

The survey, carried out by a national Sunday newspaper, revealed how airline
failures, harder economic times and a dismal airport experience have caused a
sharp downturn in the number of people flying. The airport also faces a threat
from a major expansion at its rival Stansted, which could see more than 20,000
extra flights from the Essex airport after it was given permission to expand last

Flybe’s chief operating officer Mike Rutter said last month that his company
had found it tougher than anticipated to attract passengers to Norwich because
of the ‘shadow of Stansted’ and it will now get worse.

However Richard Jenner, managing director of the airport, said passenger numbers
were in line with projections. He told the newspaper: ‘Our passenger numbers are
pretty much what we expected. The number of passengers using the airport has gone
down and this is the affect of what happened last year when some flights were

‘Last year we reported there were about 680,000 passengers and we predicted that
would drop to about 620,000 which is more or less what the figures are now.’


IOM Airport passengers drop


September passenger figures for the Isle of Man Airport showed a downturn compared
with a year earlier as the global financial crisis begins to affect our air travel.
The 2.2% drop has also been caused by the reduction of capacity on services to
London and North West England following the closure of EuroManx in May.

The fall of about 1500 passengers for September is, however, a slightly better
result than the reduction of almost 2000, predicted by the airport. The London
City route is only offering a single flight daily compared with four daily flights
last year, while the Manchester and Liverpool services together now have about
100 fewer seats a day each way.


Passengers down at Edinburgh Airport


The number of passengers using Edinburgh Airport fell again last month, but it remained the busiest airport in Scotland.  Domestic and international traffic fell as airlines reduced capacity in the wake
of high fuel costs and slowing consumer demand. The collapse of Zoom Airlines
and charter operators Futura and XL also had a bearing on international passenger

Edinburgh was the busiest airport in Scotland with 823,301 passengers in September,
down 2.9 percent on the previous year. International traffic grew by 3.5 per cent
while domestic traffic fell 7.6 per cent. At Glasgow Airport passenger numbers
fell 11 percent to 786,273 and at Aberdeen by 4.2 percent to 298,513.

The total number of passengers using the country’s main airports dropped – with
just over 1.9 million passengers using Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports
in September, down 6.6 percent on the same month last year. In the 12 months to
September, the three airports handled almost 21 million passengers, down 1.6 percent
on the previous 12 months.


Economy problems hit Aberdeen Airport passengers


The continuing fallout from the credit crunch has hit the number of passengers
Aberdeen Airport for a fifth consecutive month.  Passenger numbers for September were down 4.2% on a year earlier at 298,467.

The number of people using domestic services dropped by 5.9%, while there were
7.4% fewer international passengers. But helicopter business was up by 10.6% and
charter and budget operations recorded increases of 8.9% and 39.4% respectively.

Passenger numbers in the year to the end of September were down by 1.6% compared
to the previous 12 months, to 3.4million, with a sharper 2.5% year-on-year fall
since the start of this year.

Aberdeen Airport managing director Kevin Brown said: ‘The pressures on financial
markets throughout the world are reflected in the generally lower numbers of passengers
flying from airports.‘ He also noted that the figures a year ago included a boost
of 11,000 visitors attending Aberdeen’s biennial Offshore Europe oil show.


Passengers down 5% at BAA airports


BAA’s UK airports handled a total of 13.3 million passengers in September, 5.0%
fewer than in the same month last year. Year to date, BAA’s UK airport traffic
shows a decline of 1.4% for the nine months to September with a total of 113.4
million passengers.

During the month the largest drops was a 12.6% decrease in European charter traffic,
partly as a result of the closure of XL Airways. North Atlantic traffic was down
by 6.8% and other long haul routes by 6.0%. European scheduled traffic achieved
the best result with a drop of 2.2%.

Heathrow’s passenger total fell by 3.6% overall, despite a 9.6% increase in North
Atlantic traffic. European scheduled traffic at Heathrow was down by 8.1%. Gatwick’s
North Atlantic traffic was down 44.0% (mainly due to the introduction of the ‘Open
Skies’ Agreement) but European scheduled traffic was up by 8.8%.

Stansted’s passenger total fell by 4.7% overall, with European scheduled traffic
down by 2.9% and domestic by 0.8%. Southampton recorded a drop of 4.0% overall,
with European scheduled traffic down 8.6%.

In Scotland, Edinburgh passengers were 2.9% lower and Aberdeen saw a 4.2% drop.
The largest drop was at Glasgow – down 11.0% – where the loss of XL and Zoom services
added to already weak Charter and North Atlantic results. In contrast its European
scheduled traffic was 3.7% up on last year.

In total BAA’s airports recorded a 1.3% drop in air transport movements during
September and a 2.3% reduction in air cargo tonnage. Despite the overall loss
of cargo traffic, both Heathrow (up 2.5%) and Stansted (up 3.8%) recorded increases.

In the 12 months to the end of September passengers were down 0.6% overall at
BAA’s UK airports to 148.3m. They were up 0.2% at Heathrow (67.5m), 0.9% at Gatwick
(35.1m), 1.8% at Southampton (2.0m) and 1.6% at Edinburgh (9.1m). However, they
were down 4.6% at Stansted (22.9m), 4.9% at Glasgow (8.4m) and 1.6% at Aberdeen

BAA said in a statement that it ‘remains of the view that the long-term growth
prospects for aviation are good. Historically, air traffic growth recovers from
short-term shocks such as those currently being played out in the financial markets,
as evidenced by the growth in traffic after the Gulf wars, 9/11 and the Asian
economic problems in the late 1990s and the fact that sales of commercial civilian
aircraft remain buoyant.’


Big drop in passengers at Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley


The turmoil affecting the airline industry has been ‘thrown into sharp focus’
with passenger numbers at the North East’s two main airports – Durham Tees Valley
Newcastle Airport – showing a steep fall during the summer, the Northern Echo reports.

Figures obtained by the newspaper show that during the summer peak of June –
August Newcastle Airport was used by 1,677,281 passengers – down 10 percent on
last year’s figure of 1,864,278. Durham Tees Valley Airport had 221,243 passengers,
an average drop over the three months of 19 percent on last year’s figure of 274,315.

A spokeswoman for Newcastle Airport said the Government’s doubling of air passenger
duty in February had ‘significantly impacted’ on demand for flights during the
past 18 months. He said: We are concerned that Government plans to introduce a
new aviation duty tax will just make things worse at regional airports.’

Durham Tees Valley owner Peel Airports told the newspaper that a move by holiday
company Thomson to cut weekly flights from DTVA from 13 to six – a decision taken
early last year – was largely behind the fall in passenger numbers. But it admitted
the general economic uncertainty over the aviation industry was continuing to
make life tough.

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