BAA’s airports handle nine million passengers in April

14 May 2012 (Last Updated May 14th, 2012 04:35)

BAA has reported its airports handled around 9.1 million passengers in April 2012, recording a slight rise of 0.1% when compared to the corresponding period in 2011.

Heathrow Airport

BAA has reported its airports handled around 9.1 million passengers in April 2012, recording a slight rise of 0.1% when compared to the corresponding period in 2011.

BAA said that the year-on-year comparisons of traffic for the period become complicated due to the timing of Easter; after combining passenger numbers from March and April, traffic increased 1.9%.

Traffic at Heathrow airport remained flat at 5.8 million, when compared to the same period last year.

Heathrow has reported a 0.1% rise in its load factors to 76.4%, while its average number of seats per aircraft also rose from 1.1% to 197.6.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said these are encouraging figures for Heathrow and BAA's other airports.

"However, the modest growth in passenger numbers at Heathrow, the UK's only hub airport, comes from larger and fuller aircraft, not from more routes and frequencies to emerging markets," Matthews said.

Cargo movement across the airports dropped 1.1%, while Heathrow reported a largest decline of 2.5% when comparing the period to April 2011.

Stansted airport's passenger traffic dropped 2.7%, whilst Aberdeen and Glasgow airports reported 11% and 6.7% rises, respectively.

Edinburgh Airport, which BAA has agreed to sell to Global Infrastructure Partners for £807.2m in April 2012, has reported a 1.1% drop in passenger traffic to 767,500 passengers during the month.

Domestic traffic across BAA's airports was up 2.7% during the period, while European scheduled traffic reported a 1.3% increase, reflecting a surge in business traffic following the Easter holidays.

According to the operator, traffic between Heathrow and Brazil, and routes connecting India and China, continued to grow in April when compared to the previous year. Brazil recorded the highest numbers at 11.7%.


Image: Heathrow airport has handled 5.8 million passengers in April. Photo: courtesy of Warren Rohner.