May 5: In its first quarter report, BAA Airports Limited reported a 10% drop in passenger numbers compared to last year and losses of nearly £229 million, a five-fold increase for the same period.
Colin Matthews, Chief Executive of BAA, said: “Today’s results were delivered in the most difficult economic circumstances, but are in line with our expectations. Although overall traffic trends weakened due to the economic downturn, Heathrow continues to demonstrate resilience, benefiting from its position as a major global hub airport for long-haul services. The rest of the year will be difficult and will present more challenges but our focus remains on raising service standards and maximising efficiency.” One of the positive messages in the report is a reduction in operating costs of 6%.
Particularly badly hit was Gatwick, which BAA is trying to sell. Passenger numbers fell by nearly 15%, making the chances of realising a good price unlikely. Bids have been received by BAA and an announcement is expected “in the coming weeks.”