Cold spell hits UK airports hard

Severe weather conditions in
December saw UK passenger numbers down 10.9 per cent the British Airport
Authority announced.

BAA’s UK airports handled 7.2
million passengers in December 2010, a decrease of 10.9 per cent on December
2009.

The Authority said the drop in
traffic is “almost entirely” due to the disruptions caused by the weather
conditions.

Edinburgh Airport was particularly
affected with numbers down by a massive 18.4 per cent.

However, the figures for the whole
year were not as negative with the group carrying a total of 103.9 million
passengers in the 12 month period. This marked a drop of 2.8 per cent.

“The year was marked by a series of
exceptional events,” said the BAA. 

“Apart from severe weather late in
the year, there were the effects of two extended periods of BA strikes and the
Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.”

The disruptions have cost the BAA
about $39 million.

The approximate financial cost by
airport, measured in terms of the reduction in profit, was $30 million at
Heathrow, $1.5 million at Stansted and $6 million across the group’s four other
UK airports of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Southampton.

Irish aviation did not fare as well
as its UK counterparts and saw devastating decreases in air traffic.

Commercial flight data shows
activity was down 9.3 per cent in Dublin, -9 per cent in Cork and a massive
-21.7 per cent in Shannon.

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