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Major UK airport traffic down 6.3% in January

PASSENGER traffic at major British airports fell 6.3 percent in January compared with a year earlier, airport owner BAA Ltd. said today.

BAA, owner of London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, said the decrease followed year-on-year drops of 8.9 percent in November and 6.9 percent in December.

Total passenger traffic was 9.4 million people in January, said BAA, which also owns airports in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh in Scotland, and the English city of Southampton.

British domestic traffic was down 12.0 percent in January, North Atlantic traffic fell 5.0 percent, scheduled European traffic was down 6 percent and other international traffic dropped 1.9 percent, BAA said.

Among the London airports, Heathrow's traffic was down 2.1 percent, Gatwick's dropped 10.8 percent and Stansted's was 11.2 percent lower.

BAA Ltd., owned by a consortium led by Grupo Ferrovial S.A. of Spain, has been ordered by the British Competition Commission to sell Gatwick, Stansted and one of the Scottish airports. BAA has put Gatwick on the market but has resisted disposing of Stansted and a Scottish facility.


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