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Stansted 's traffic falls again as BAA admit new owner can run it "cheaper"

Ryanair condemned Stansted Airport owner BAA/Ferrovial for again running down traffic at the airport during September.

LONDON – Stansted handled 4% less passengers in September 2012 than it did in the same month last year.  While Stansted’s traffic continues to decline, the BAA has also admitted that any new owner of the airport could run the airport cheaper than the BAA, in yet another indictment of the CAA’s “inadequate” regulatory regime.

This revelation comes as no surprise to Ryanair and other Stansted airlines who have long complained about Stansted’s high charges and the padding of costs in order to mask the underlying profitability of Stansted.  Ryanair disclosed that Stansted’s statutory accounts for 2011 forecast a bright outlook for the airport, but grim news for passengers as follows:

Reduced passengers in 2012 is expected to be mitigated by increases in aeronautical tariffs and yields”.

This is further evidence of the BAA monopoly raising prices and yields at Stansted to compensate for declining passengers.  This would not be happening if there was effective regulation, or real competition between the London airports.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “Stansted’s 2011 financial accounts confirm that the BAA is using its monopoly power to raise prices to compensate for declining traffic.  The lack of an effective regulatory regime at Stansted means that consumers are being gouged by the Ferrovial/BAA monopoly, while the “inadequate” CAA regulator (as confirmed by the Competition Commission) stands idly by.

Ryanair hopes that the new owner of Stansted Airport will significantly slash prices in order to stimulate rapid traffic growth. Unless Stansted’s charges are substantially reduced, it is inevitable that the BAA’s five year record of traffic declines will continue.

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.