Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 10:29 UK

Mixed fortunes for Scots airports

Glasgow Airpot
Glasgow was among airports reporting a decline in numbers

The number of passengers travelling through Edinburgh airport rose last month by 3.9% - but other Scottish airports saw big falls.

Owner BAA said a busy Easter helped boost figures at Edinburgh.

At Glasgow airport passenger numbers tumbled by 11.6% and in Aberdeen, they were down by 10.7%.

BAA has been ordered to sell either Glasgow or Edinburgh airport, because it is too dominant in the market across the UK.

Ferrovial, the Spanish-owned company which owns BAA, currently runs seven airports in Britain.

The Competition Commission has said it must sell three of them, including one in Scotland, to increase choice for its customers, both passengers and airlines. The airports must be sold to different buyers.

Easter travel

BAA has seen passenger numbers decline for the past year.

Last month, its airports handled 11.5 million passengers, a decrease of 2.3% on April 2008.

However, this was an improvement on the March figures. Passenger numbers then dropped by 11.3%.

BAA said this was because of the timing of Easter. In 2008, the holiday was in March. This year Easter was in April which usually boosts traffic.

Stripping out the effect of the holiday, the airport operator said the decline in passenger numbers was 6.8%.

Passengers on European scheduled flights increased slightly, but those for European charter flights dropped by 9.9%.

North Atlantic and UK domestic traffic dipped by 7.6%. Other long haul flights recorded a 1.4% rise.

Earlier this month BAA announced that pre-tax losses had widened to £316.2m from a loss of £55.6m in the same period last year. Revenues rose 15.5%.

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