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Airport passenger numbers hit by weakening economy

Sunday 31 Aug 2008 11:15am

The economic slow-down coupled with the effects of the credit crunch on the UK have been blamed for the recent drop in numbers of passengers using Great Britain's biggest airports. Total passenger numbers fell by 1. 7 per cent in July year-on-year according to BAA, the company which runs seven of the UK's busiest airports, including Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport and Glasgow. London's Stansted Airport suffered the largest drop in passenger numbers out of all of BAA's airports, with 5. 3 per cent fewer passengers compared with the same time last year. All of BAA's Scottish airports also experienced slight reductions. However, the number of flights between Europe, the UK and USA increased as a result of the 'stimulus' of the Open Skies initiative, which helped North Atlantic traffic increase by 0. 6 per cent. In spite of the economic downturn, BAA has completed a £13 billion refinancing deal which will fund 'immediate' improvements at all airports in its portfolio.

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