July was a busy month for Heathrow, being marked as the third-busiest July on record. This was a boost for the airline industry, which has taken something of a battering lately.
It is hoped that this is the start of stabilisation amongst airports as Heathrow saw passenger numbers improve by 0.9 percent on a year earlier. What's more, although there were declines at Gatwick and Stansted respectively, they were smaller than predicted.
BAA, the company who owns all three airports, handled 14.5 million passengers across all seven of the UK airports it owns in July. This is a fall of 2.4 percent from July 2008, although again, this is less of a decrease on June, which was 5.9 percent, and May, which was 7.3 percent.
BAA reported a return to growth of 1.2 percent in European scheduled traffic and 4.8 percent in long-haul traffic, excluding North Atlantic flights. UK domestic traffic was 4.8 percent lower and European charters fell 18.6 percent. The result for Heathrow of 6.5 million passengers in July took its total for the year to date to 37.7 million, a fall of three percent on a year earlier.
At Gatwick, the reduction on last year was cut from 7.6 percent in June to 4.8 percent in July; this was largely thanks to a 5.8 percent increase in European schedule traffic. Stansted's improvement saw a drop of 11.5 percent in June, which was reduced to 5.7 percent in July, despite cuts in capacity by low-cost operators.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, where the company owns three airports, Edinburgh's traffic grew by 5.6 percent, the fourth consecutive month the airport has recorded growth.
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