BAA’s passenger traffic down 4.1 per cent in July

Despite the Olympics, fewer visitors flew into Britain.

Departure lounge at a Heathrow terminal in London. Credit: Getty Images

The British airport operator BAA has reported passenger traffic of 9.62 million for July 2012, a decrease of 4.1 per cent compared to same period last year, as many Britons stayed at home and non-Olympic travellers postponed their trips.

Passenger traffic at Heathrow Airport declined on the year by 4.4 per cent to 6.56m. At Stansted, passenger numbers fell by 5.3 per cent, while Glasgow saw numbers fall by 0.5 per cent and Southampton by 9.5 per cent. Aberdeen, meanwhile, saw an increase in passenger numbers of 4.4 per cent – which meant a combined increase of 0.9 per cent across the Scottish airports.

At Heathrow, domestic traffic grew 1.2 per cent, while European traffic, significantly affected by the Olympics, fell 6.6 per cent. North-Atlantic traffic remained almost unchanged at 0.1 per cent; other long-haul routes had a collective decline of 6.3 per cent. Passenger numbers to and from India dropped 11 per cent but numbers for Brazil and China saw a growth of 15 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, 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.

The group’s five airports carried 146,455 metric tonnes of cargo during July, an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to the same month last year.