BAA passenger numbers fall in February

BAA passenger traffic fell at UK airports overall in February – but Heathrow saw a rise.

The airport operator flew 7.11m passengers from its UK airports last month, compared with 6.97m in the same month last year.

Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, flew 4.62m passengers, up by 0.5 per cent, the group said.

Chief executive Colin Matthews said: “The steady growth in demand (at Heathrow) suggests improving economic circumstances.

“Heathrow’s strong passenger and freight performance is encouraging for British industry, reflecting steady improvements in the economy and international trade.”

Heathrow was boosted by an increase in numbers on long haul flights to destination such as India.

Air cargo movements at BAA’s airports grew 5.7 per cent, with a 4.7 per cent gain at Heathrow.

“At our other airports, the slow pace of economic recovery is impacting growth.” said Matthews.

Stansted airport saw passenger traffic down 6.3 per cent on last year, while Southampton fell three per cent.

BAA is majority owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial.