BAAs UK airports handled a total of 10.9 million passengers in December, an increase of 0.7% on the same month last year. The December result took the total for 2007 to fractionally short of 150 million passengers, in itself an increase of 1.6% on 2006.
Although operations were disrupted in the immediate run up to Christmas as a result of fog the scale of cancellations and lost traffic was less than experienced over the same period in 2006. Key market results in the month included a 6.3% increase in North Atlantic traffic and a 2.5% gain in traffic on other long haul routes. European scheduled traffic was unchanged on last year, while European charters were down by 1.7%.
Although Domestic traffic fell 3.5% this represented an improvement on the trend of recent months as a result of the comparison with the more severely disrupted operations in December 2006. Among individual airports Heathrow (+3.2%) gained most from the comparison with last December, while Gatwick was up by 2.7% and Southampton by 2.6%.
As expected, and as highlighted last month, Stansted traffic decreased by 8.6% in December due to some cutbacks in the winter schedule of both Ryanair and Air Berlin. Glasgow and Aberdeen also experienced losses, of 5.0% and 2.2% respectively. Edinburghs traffic was 3.6% higher. Air transport movements across the Group were 0.2% down on last December, with Stansted (-8.1%) and Glasgow (-8.2%) recording the most substantial deficits. In contrast Heathrow and Gatwick posted increases of 3.1% and 3.2% respectively.
For the year as a whole movements were up 0.9% to 1.3 million. Cargo tonnage was up by 16.8% at Heathrow in December following a month of disruption in December 2006. Despite losses at most other airports in December 2007 was enough to take the Group result in the month to an increase of 10.9%. Over the year as a whole cargo tonnage fell by 1.8% to 1.7 million tonnes.