July was a record month for Heathrow but other UK airports falter

11.8.2010 (Independent)

By James Thompson

Heathrow airport had its busiest ever month for passengers in July, but airports
outside London suffered flat or falling traffic.


The airport operator BAA said a whopping 6.71 million passengers passed through
Heathrow in July, a 3.5 per cent jump on the same month last year.

The UK’s biggest airport was helped by an end to the Icelandic volcanic ash disruption
and a temporary cessation in industrial action by British Airways cabin crew.

A further boost to Heathrow came from continued strong traffic from overseas
visitors and the fact that it remains a crucial transfer hub for long-haul flights
that start outside the UK.

The main source of passenger growth at the London airport was the European market,
where additional capacity drove an increase of 9.5 per cent. It also benefited
from strong demand from Brazil, Russia, China and India.

“Heathrow is definitely more resilient because of the hub nature of the airport
for passengers who use London to transfer to other destinations,” a BAA spokesman

“We have been saying for a while that we would have had good figures if had not
been for the volcanic ash or BA industrial action.” However, he warned: “We are
not yet out of the woods.”

Industry sources also suggested that Heathrow is benefiting from a stronger recovery
in London’s economy, given that business passengers account for about one-third
of its traffic.

In contrast, the reliance of Stansted on low-cost airlines suggests this was
behind a 7.2% slump in passengers numbers to 2.02 million in July.

In fact, Stansted was the worst performing of all the UK airports. Aberdeen airport
suffered a 4.1 per cent slump in passengers to 276.9 million last month, which
was slightly worse than 3.6 per cent fall at Glasgow. Meanwhile, passenger numbers
rose marginally by 0.6 per cent at Edinburgh.

Total UK passenger numbers came in higher by 0.3 per cent at 10.95m in July.

link to article



see also



In July BAA’s airports handled 0.3% more passengers than in July 2009

Heathrow  had its highest number of passengers during July, up +3.5% compared
to July 2009 (which was itself up +0.9% compared to July 2008).   However, for
BAA’s UK airports as a whole, passengers were up by only + 03% this July, and
they were down yet again at Stansted, – 7.2%.   Passengers were down -3.6% at Glasgow,
down – 1.4% at Southampton, down – 4.1% at Aberdeen, but up +0.6% at Edinburgh.  
Air transport movements were down slightly – 0.4% for all BAA’s UK airports, and
air cargo was up by   +17.9% .
The main source of passenger growth at Heathrow was the European market, BAA
said. Across all airports, European passengers increased by +2.9%, while long-haul
traffic was up by +0.5%. But domestic traffic was -4.6% lower than last year.    
10.8.2010   More …..

including the BAA press release and all the figures