BAA July traffic down as Britons stay home for Olympics

City A.M. Reporter
British airport operator BAA reported a 4.1 per cent fall in July passenger traffic year on year as Britons stayed home to watch the Olympics and tourists deferred their holidays until after the Games.

BAA, owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, said today that 9.6 million passengers passed through its five UK airports last month, compared to about 9.2 million in July 2011.

London Heathrow – Europe's busiest airport – handled 6.6 million passengers, down 4.4 per cent year on year.

"The drop was more pronounced in the second half of the month and it is likely that the Olympics played a part, with UK passengers staying at home as well as non-Olympic visitors from overseas choosing to defer their journeys," said BAA's chief executive Colin Matthews.

BAA, which has been criticised in the past for its handling of snow and volcanic ash-related disruptions, said years of planning helped it cope well with the influx of passengers flying into London for the Games.