Stansted Airport’s passenger numbers return to growth

STANSTED airport today reported its first annual month-on-month increase in passengers numbers of 2012.

The airport handled nearly 1.192million passengers in November, an increase 6.2 per cent on the same month last year.

And cargo tonnage at Stansted remained solidly in growth, with November’s total up by 16.5pc compared with a year earlier.

Last month’s increase in passenger numbers means that Stansted’s total for the year to date is now 3.8pc down compared with the stage stage of 2011, at 16.232million. The shortfall to the end of October was 4.5pc.

Similarly, Stansted’s rolling 12-month passenger total of 17.409million is now 3.7pc down on the previous 12-months, compared with a 4.6pc fall for the 12 months to October.

A spokesman at Stansted said today: “November is the first month of the winter flight schedule but we’ve seen more aircraft operating than this time last year and higher average load factors (on each plane) than a year ago.

“We’ve also seen some popular new routes commence, so this has all helped push passenger numbers up 6.2pc compared to the same month last year.

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“Stansted’s worldwide cargo operation continues to perform very well, up 5.2pc in the last 12 months, despite the difficult economic conditions. During the month, nearly 20,000 tonnes of goods and products passed through the cargo facilities, up 16.5pc on the corresponding month last year,” he added.

Stansted owner BAA announced in August that it was abandoning its long-running legal battle against a Competition Commission ruling that it must sell the Essex airport.

The following month, the company – which is owned by a consortium led by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial – announced that it was dropping the BAA name, which each of its airports (which also include Heathrow, Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen) operating in future as stand-alone brands.

Today’s figures show that Heathrow enjoyed a record-breaking month in November, with the UK’s largest airport handling 5.381million passengers, 3.1pc up on November 2011 and its best November ever.

Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen achieved growth of 3.7pc, 5.3pc and 4.8pc respectively.