BAA narrows losses as traffic grows but a legal threat over charges looms

BAA, the owner of Stansted and Heathrow, reported smaller losses for the first half of the year, boosted by more passengers using its airports.

The airport operator made a pre-tax loss of £249m in the six months to June, down from £279.7m for the same time last year.

Traffic across its London airports increased by 7.1 per cent to 41.4m compared with the same period last year when flights were disrupted by volcanic ash and British Airways strikes.

Heathrow saw its highest number of passengers in one quarter, spurred by the launch of American Airlines’ and BA’ joint transatlantic flights and increasing travel demand from emerging economies.

Colin Matthews, BAA’s chief executive, said they were still plans to challenge the order for the group to sell two of its airports.

Ryanair, who has spoken out in favour of the break up, filed a complaint yesterday with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Competition Commission, accusing BAA of overcharging airlines and demanding that they revise the current price cap.