BAA reports contrasting fortunes

British airports group BAA reported a mixed performance for January today as new services to India offset a sharp decline in trans-Atlantic travel.

BAA said passenger numbers rose 1.9% after 10.1 million people passed through its seven UK sites – including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted – last month.

The group blamed the 3.4% year-on-year fall in numbers travelling to the United States on higher fuel costs for operators and a softening economy, which has seen fewer businesspeople make the trip.

However, long-haul trips excluding the US were up 6.8% after Virgin and BA began flying more services to India, including Mumbai.

The figures were announced a day after it emerged that Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial was looking at a possible bid for BAA.

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