BAA traffic figures hit by Olympics

The London Olympics have been blamed for a drop in passengers using BAA airports last  month.

Numbers in July were down across the company’s five airports by 4.1% in the month to 9.6 million. This included a drop of 4.4% at Heathrow to 6.6 million passengers.

“The drop was more pronounced in the second half of the month and it is likely that the Olympics played a part, with UK passengers staying at home as well as non-Olympic visitors from overseas choosing to defer their journeys,” BAA said.

European scheduled traffic at Heathrow was “significantly affected” by the impact of the Olympics and fell 6.6%.

North Atlantic traffic remained almost unchanged (+0.1%), whilst other long-haul routes had a collective decline of 6.3%.

Within that, passenger numbers to and from India dropped 11% but Brazil saw an increase of 15% and China 3.4%.

Domestic traffic at Heathrow was up by 1.2% over the same month last year and the London airport achieved a record breaking month for customer satisfaction.

Stansted passenger numbers were down 5.3% compared with July 2011, while Glasgow saw numbers fall 0.5% and Southampton 9.5%.

Aberdeen though saw an increase in passengers of 4.4% compared with July 2011, which meant a combined increase of 0.9% across the Scottish airports.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: “We are proud to have played our part in giving the very best welcome to London 2012 to athletes and visitors alike.

“Seven years of hard work and planning, the warmth and enthusiasm of more than a thousand volunteers and additional Border Force staff produced our strongest ever passenger satisfaction scores.”

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