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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Cold snap hits BAA user numbers
Heathrow Airport
Heathrow has seen user numbers dip over the past year
UK airports group BAA has reported a 1.4% dip in March's passenger numbers compared with a year ago, after heavy snow led to cancelled flights.

BAA, which owns seven UK airports, said that the late timing of Easter this year had also contributed to the fall.

For the year to March, Heathrow airport saw passenger numbers fall 0.3% to 67.4 million, which BAA blamed on July's bombs and the strike by catering staff.

Last week, BAA rejected a 8.75bn takeover bid from a Spanish consortium.

The consortium is headed by construction firm Ferrovial, and also includes Canadian investment fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, and Singapore government fund GIC.

Budget travel

BAA said that domestic traffic during March was hit by cancellations caused by heavy snow at the beginning of the month in Scotland and the North East.

BAA AIRPORTS
Heathrow
Gatwick
Stansted
Southampton
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Aberdeen

However, for the year to the end of March, BAA said that overall passenger numbers at its seven UK airports had risen by 2% to 144.6 million.

Gatwick saw 32.8 million passengers pass through the airport, the highest yearly figures to date.

The continued popularity of low-cost travel helped to lift numbers at Stansted, which saw a 5% rise in passengers to 22.2 million over the year to March.

Southampton airport saw user numbers jump 5.2% in March on a year ago, and for the year as a whole they were up 20.1% to 1.9 million.

In Scotland, Aberdeen airport recorded a 9.5% increase in passengers over the past 12 months, while numbers were up 2.4% at Glasgow and 5.6% at Edinburgh.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear more about the bidding process



SEE ALSO:
BAA rejects hostile Ferrovial bid
07 Apr 06 |  Business
UK panel fixes BAA bid deadline
22 Mar 06 |  Business
BAA rejects Spanish takeover bid
17 Mar 06 |  Business
Spanish firm eyes up BAA airports
08 Feb 06 |  Business
UK airport passenger numbers grow
11 Jan 06 |  Business


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