Cold December weather sees Stansted Airport passenger numbers rise

DECEMBER saw London Stansted Airport record its highest monthly passenger figures since March 2008, despite parent company BAA reporting an overall drop in passengers for 2009.Overall BAA s six UK airports handled a total of eight million passengers in D

DECEMBER saw London Stansted Airport record its highest monthly passenger figures since March 2008, despite parent company BAA reporting an overall drop in passengers for 2009.

Overall BAA's six UK airports handled a total of eight million passengers in December, down 0.9 per cent on December 2008. Weather caused an estimated 1.9 per cent reduction in passenger numbers.

Heathrow, the UK's hub airport, recorded a 1.2 per cent increase in passengers, driven primarily by an increase in European scheduled traffic and the long-haul network to Asia, Africa and Australia.

Stansted declined 2.6 per cent in December, the best performance since March 2008.


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Scottish airports were impacted by the collapse of the airline Flyglobespan, as well as by the weather. Compared to last year, Glasgow was down 8.8 per cent, Edinburgh down 4.4 per cent, Aberdeen down 9.4 per cent.

Southampton's passenger figures declined 5.9 per cent in December. Naples Airport in Italy recorded strong growth of 14.5 per cent

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December's results took the total for BAA's UK airports in 2009 to 106.9 million, down 4.2 per cent on 2008. The rate of decline slowed to 1.2 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Annual passenger figures for the airports in 2009 are as follows:

Heathrow down 1.5 per cent on 2008, to 65.9 million.

Stansted down 10.7 per cent, to 20 million.

Southampton Airport down 8.2 per cent to 1.8 million.

Edinburgh Airport's traffic up 0.6 per cent to nine million.

Glasgow down 11.3 per cent to 7.2 million.

Aberdeen down 9.4 per cent to three million.

Following the sale of Gatwick Airport on December 3 last year, passenger figures from that airport will no longer be included in BAA's figures.

Colin Matthews, BAA's chief executive, said: "2009 was a difficult year for our airline customers. Towards the end of the year, we saw signs of improvements, particularly at Heathrow, but there are more challenging times ahead in 2010.

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