BAA traffic figures fall as visitors shun troubled Eurozone spots

City A.M. Reporter
AIRPORTS operator BAA said yesterday the Eurozone crisis had dented traffic numbers from UK airports to Greece, Spain and other European countries suffering worsening economic conditions.

The owner of Heathrow – Europe’s busiest airport – yesterday said passenger numbers between Heathrow and Greece dropped 11.3 per cent in May compared with the same month a year ago, with numbers to and from Italy falling 9.2 per cent, Portugal 11.4 per cent and Spain 2.5 per cent.

“The impact of the Eurozone crisis is still being felt with sharp falls in passenger numbers to the worst affected countries and reduced cargo traffic,” said BAA’s chief executive Colin Matthews.

BAA, owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, said cargo traffic – a key indicator of economic health – fell 2.4 per cent across its airports last month. Cargo traffic at Heathrow was down 3.8 per cent.

“Both [cargo] figures are likely to be a reflection of the continued economic problems, particularly in the Eurozone,” added Matthews.

Traffic at airports operated by BAA fell 0.1 per cent in May, compared with the same month in 2011, reflecting last year’s late Easter and royal wedding which boosted traffic in May 2011. The late May bank holiday into June this year also reduced last month traffic figures, it said.

BAA said 5.8m passengers passed through Heathrow last month, 0.6 per cent down on last May.