labels: News reports, Airports
Fewer Britons boarding flights as economic woes persist news
23 October 2008

Britain's busiest airports have reported a sharp drop in passenger numbers over the last month, confirming the largely known bad news for many troubled airlines.

Airport company BAA, which owns and operates seven airports in the UK has reported a five per cent drop in passengers compared to data from September 2007. Reports suggest that the trend shown by the data is an overall outcome of failing airlines and the persistent economic downturn.

Passenger figures at Stansted Airport were down by almost five per cent when compared to data from September 2007, while Southampton saw a drop of 4 per cent. 

London Heathrow has seen a reduction in its passenger numbers to the tune of 3.6 per cent, in spite of an almost 10 per cent increase in North Atlantic traffic.

In Scotland, Glasgow reported an 11 per cent drop in passenger numbers in September, marking the largest drop at any BAA airport. Reports suggest this is predominantly due to the collapse of both XL Airways and Zoom.

Passenger traffic at Aberdeen Airport dropped four per cent over the same period, while Edinburgh witnessed a decrease of three per cent.

The Telegraph reported a while back that over 46 million airline seats will be eliminated as part of a capacity rationalization that would take place in the coming three months, following reports by Official Airline Guide (OAG) that suggested the demand for air travel is decreasing on a global scale. 

As compared to a year go, an estimated 83,000 fewer flights would be operated within the European Union (EU) during this quarter.

However, reports quoted unnamed sources in Britan's aviation industry as saying as is clear from historical events such as the Gulf war, 11 September 2001 attacks, and the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s, air traffic generally recovers from short term shocks. They said that the current financial crisis is also a similar event, and that traffic would recover.

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Fewer Britons boarding flights as economic woes persist