The number of passengers using BAA’s six airports increased last month, it has been announced.

However, by comparing passenger numbers at Heathrow in London to Stansted Airport, it is clear some airports did not enjoy such a positive month.

Passengers numbers at Heathrow jumped by 7.2% last month to reach a little under 6.01 million, but a fall in holiday flights caused figures at Stansted to show a 3.1% decline.

BAA’s six airports handled a total of 9.75 million passengers last month, some 3.4% higher than October 2009’s figures. Numbers at Edinburgh (up 3.5%) and Southampton (up 1%) increased, but Glasgow (down 7.4%) and Aberdeen (down 5%) experienced a fall in passenger figures.

The number of passengers on European scheduled services increased by 4.2% and North Atlantic traffic rose by 9.7%, but Gatwick’s European charter traffic fell by 12.3% compared with figures from the same month last year. The number of people passing through the West Sussex airport overall increased by 0.8% to 2.85 million.

An increasing number of people took long-haul flights between Heathrow and China and Hong Kong, with 16.1% more people using the routes last month compared with 2009’s figures.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Passenger growth is good for the economy with thousands of people across the country employed in aviation, international trade and tourism.

“Low sterling and interest rates make the UK a competitive place to do business.”

Copyright Press Association 2010

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