Despite reports of a stagnant summer for European airports, Heathrow saw 6.3 million passengers pass through its terminals, a record for September and up 0.6% on the same month last year.
Last month, BAA said that the unexpectedly large fall in passenger numbers in July and August at London Heathrow Airport, due to the effect of the London 2012 Olympic Games, will not be recovered over the course of the rest of the year.
European scheduled traffic in September overall was up 0.2%. Within that passenger numbers to and from Spain were up 6.2%, but Greece and Portugal both saw their traffic fall 4.8%.
North Atlantic traffic continued to perform well, up 4.5% on last September. Brazil and China passenger numbers increased 14% and 5.9% respectively whilst traffic to and from India fell 7%.
9.2 MILLION IN SEPTEMBER
Overall, nearly 9.2m passengers passed through BAA’s five airports in September 2012, the same as September 2011 and an improvement on the falls of 4.1% in July and 2.0% in August.
However, at Stansted, passenger numbers were down 4% compared with September 2011, whilst traffic through Southampton declined 4.4%.
Traffic through Aberdeen was up 1.4% and Glasgow was up 5.6%, resulting in a total increase at the Scottish airports of 4.4%.
Cargo performed well, up 2.5% across the group with a 1.7% rise at Heathrow and a 5.2% increase at Stansted.
THE DAVIES COMMISSION
BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews said: “Heathrow saw record passenger numbers in September. Traffic to and from the BRIC economies, other than India, demonstrates the on-going importance of hub capacity to connect the UK to growth markets.
“The Davies Commission must rigorously and objectively assess every option to meet our country’s economic needs.”
BAA chief executive Colin Matthews called on Sir Howard Davies to look at “all options” as he investigates UK aviation capacity.
The UK Government, which has previously said it opposes a third runway at Heathrow, set up an independent inquiry into aviation capacity in September, led by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies.
The report is scheduled for completion in 2015, after the next election, although an interim report will be published in 2013.