Bric growth offsetting eurozone weakness, says BAA

Growth in travel to emerging Bric markets have helped offset weakness in the eurozone countries of Italy, Greece and Portugal, BAA said today.

The airports operator reported a 0.7% rise on passenger numbers for June to 9.1 million over the same month last year.

This included a 1.6% rise at Heathrow to a June record of more than 6.2 million.

Around 33.6 million passengers have passed through the airport in the first six months of 2012, a record for the first half of the year, with 47.4 million travelling through BAA’s five airports as a whole.

Stansted continued to see traffic fall, with a 3.4% decline in June. Glasgow recorded an increase of 4.5%. Aberdeen saw a 1.3% rise.

Growth in European traffic at Heathrow has moderated during 2012 with resilience in markets such as Germany, France and Switzerland offset by weakness in southern European markets such as Italy, Greece and Portugal, BAA said.

In contrast, the Bric markets are performing strongly with Brazil traffic growing by more than 20% over the first half of the year.

The recent introduction of a China Southern route to Guangzhou, which took eight years to come to fruition, had an immediate positive effect on passenger numbers between China and Heathrow.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Continued growth in passenger numbers are evidence of BAA’s consistent performance in a challenging economic climate.

“But the contrast between the upward trend in passenger numbers to the Bric economies and the downward trend for those countries most affected by the Eurozone crisis, once again shines the light on the importance to the UK economy of building direct connections with the Bric countries.”

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