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BAA blames late Easter for traffic slump

AIRPORT
operator BAA blamed a late Easter rather than the war or SARS for a 3.1% fall
in March traffic.

The
company handled 9.7 million passengers during the month but said it was
difficult to accurately assess the impact of the war and flu bug.

It
had factored in a 2%-3% decrease in traffic for the month because the Easter
holiday falls in April this year as opposed to March in 2002.

However,
BAA did concede the war had hit some airports. Heathrow was the worst affected,
down 8.1%, followed by Gatwick, which dropped 6.2% and Aberdeen, falling 1.3%.

Conversely, Stansted grew again, up 17.4%, as did
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Southampton.

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