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BAA announces March traffic figures

BAA`s seven UK airports handled a total of 9.7 million passengers in March, a decrease of 3.1% compared with March 2002,…

BAA`s seven UK airports handled a total of 9.7 million passengers in March, a decrease of 3.1% compared with March 2002, due to the Easter holidays falling much later this year and the impact of the war in the Middle East.



It is not possible to accurately assess the impact of the many varied events affecting the March traffic figures – Middle Eastern hostilities, SARS and the effect of the late Easter holidays – but our internal planning assumption was that the timing of Easter would reduce traffic by between 2-3% in the month of March.



Heathrow was the worst affected by the war and change of Easter dates, down 8.1%, followed by Gatwick, down 6.2% and Aberdeen dropped 1.3%. Other BAA airports experienced traffic growth, with Stansted up 17.4%, Glasgow up 4.6%, Edinburgh up 6.1% and Southampton grew by 1.7%.



For the month, North Atlantic traffic dropped 8.9% and other long haul routes fell by 12.4%. European charter traffic was down 10.2% largely reflecting the movement of the Easter break.



The number of air transport movements rose 2.4% in March compared to last year and cargo added 5.1%, totalling 0.15 million metric tonnes.



Full financial year



In BAA`s full financial year (1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003), traffic was up

4.7% against the previous year with growth at Heathrow, up 4.3%, Stansted up 18.9%, Edinburgh up 13.1%, Glasgow up 7.7% and Aberdeen up 0.9%.



Gatwick, down 2.8%, continued to be worst impacted by the knock on effect of September 11, 2001 and Southampton fell by 5.5%. Domestic routes performed well for the year, up 11.3%, followed by European scheduled routes, up 5.6%, and Irish routes up 2.7%. North Atlantic and other long haul traffic gained a little ground, up 0.9% and 0.6% respectively.



In BAA`s financial year, air transport movements rose by 1% and cargo rose by 5.9%, with 1.7 million tonnes of cargo transported through the seven UK airports.

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