BAA halves losses, but traffic falls
AIRPORT operator BAA has narrowed its losses despite passenger numbers taking a hit from British Airways’ (BA’s) cabin crew strikes and the Icelandic volcano.
The group, owned by Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial, halved its pre-tax losses during the first half of the year from £545.7m in 2009 to £279.7m, helped by lower one-off charges.
BAA, which owns Heathrow and Stansted airports, saw revenue rise by 2.2 per cent to £957.6m after 38.7m passengers traveled through its airports during the period.
But the group reported a 4.5 per cent fall in passenger numbers after taking a hit from 22 days of industrial action launched by British Airways and six days of flight disruptions caused by the ash cloud. BAA said this meant 2.2m fewer passengers traveled through it airports.
“Airports and airlines are facing continuing economic challenges and our focus remains on raising standards, maximising efficiency and continuously improving the service we provide to passengers and airlines,” said BAA chief executive officer, Colin Matthews. The group was also hit by news that the new coalition government would not support development plans to open a third runway at Heathrow. BAA said this would not affect its growth plans.