Stansted: 'Olympic Effect' Hits Airport

Passenger numbers at leading UK airports including Stansted were hit by the "Olympic effect'' last month.

A total of 9.5 million passengers passed through the five UK airports run by BAA in August 2012 - a 2.0% dip on the August 2011 figure.

The reduction at the airports, which include Heathrow and Stansted, was more pronounced in the first two weeks of August (down 4.5%).

"This suggests a continuation of the 'Olympic effect' reported in July, with UK passengers staying at home as well as non-Olympic visitors from overseas choosing to defer their journeys,'' BAA said.

Numbers at Heathrow airport dipped 1.9% to 6.5 million last month, while Stansted traffic was down 5.2% and Southampton fell 6.4%. Aberdeen airport numbers, though, rose 9.2% and Glasgow traffic increased 3.1%.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: "We are proud of Heathrow's performance during London 2012 and warmly thank the volunteers, our own staff and the many other organisations who planned and delivered a warm and efficient welcome to Great Britain.

"We intend to combine the best of the Games experience with Heathrow's ongoing investment programme to steadily improve the airport for our passengers and airlines.''

At Gatwick, formerly a BAA-run airport but now operated by American concern Global Infrastructure Partners, numbers rose 0.2% last month to 3.83 million.

The West Sussex airport's chief financial officer Nick Dunn said: "The excitement of the Games saw fewer Britons jet abroad on holiday in the first two weeks of August than last year, although there was an increase in late holiday bookings after the closing ceremony and this has continued into September.''

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