BAA's UK airports handled a total of 9m passengers in February, a fall of 12.5% against the same month in 2008, although the numbers may look worse than they really were.
NAA says that approximately half of the reduction can be attributed to the adverse weather in February, and to the fact that February 2008, a leap-year, had one extra day. After stripping these factors out, BAA says that the underlying reduction for February 2009 would have been 6.4%, compared to 6.3% in January.
The company said: ?We continue to attribute the general decline in passenger traffic to the difficult economic circumstances. An estimated 250,000 passenger movements were lost as a result of the severe weather which affected airports across the UK in the first week of the month.
?A further 370,000 passengers were lost because February this year contained one less day. Heathrow?s overall result was a reduction of 9.5%, but taking account of the severe weather and the leap year, the adjusted figure is a 3.4% decline.?
In real number terms, all major routes were down with UK and Channel Islands traffic down 16%, traffic to Ireland down 11.5%, European scheduled -11.2%; European charter -26.4%; North Atlantic -13.9%; other long haul -7.2%.