BAA traffic falls as Brits stay put during Games

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH airport operator BAA reported a 4.1 per cent fall in July passenger traffic on last 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 yesterday that 9.6m passengers passed through its five UK airports last month, compared to about 10m in July 2011.

London Heathrow – Europe’s busiest airport – handled 6.6m 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.

At Heathrow domestic traffic rose 1.2 per cent on last year, while European traffic, which was significantly affected by the Olympics, fell 6.6 per cent.