Airport records passenger drop

PUBLISHED: 16:52 20 December 2007 | UPDATED: 21:53 29 May 2010

STANSTED Airport s owner BAA has announced a drop in passengers in the lead up to Christmas. In BAA s traffic figures report for November, it was revealed that the Essex airport has suffered a 6.3 per cent decrease in passenger numbers compared to last N

STANSTED Airport's owner BAA has announced a drop in passengers in the lead up to Christmas.

In BAA's traffic figures report for November, it was revealed that the Essex airport has suffered a 6.3 per cent decrease in passenger numbers compared to last November's figures.

BAA believes the drop in passengers is a result of the winter schedule cutbacks by Ryanair and Air Berlin.

Ryanair announced cuts to the number of flights out of Stansted in reaction to BAA's decision to charge more for each passenger back in August.

At the time, Ryanair said it opposed BAA's plans to spend millions of pounds on a second runway and terminal and thought the higher charges were part of the expansion plans.

Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), was set up in 2002

to oppose the Government's

consultation to expand UK airports, in particular Stansted.

SSE campaign director Carol Barbone said: "We have always acknowledged that the airport is an important

local employer, but there are risks in over-expansion.

"We take no comfort from the present uncertainty at Stansted. This is a vibrant and diverse local economy and we should keep it that way."

Despite the drop in numbers, a BAA Stansted spokesman said the airport is still expected to have just over one million passengers during the Christmas and New Year season and the airport's passengers figures for the last year are up.

The spokesman said: "Year on year figures are up 1.2 per cent, but there's been a drop on November figures. It was something that we were expecting anyway, but we have had such great spurts of growth in the last few years."

Other BAA owned airports have

seen an increase in the number of passengers in the lead up to Christmas.

Heathrow saw a 2.4 per cent increase in travellers using the airport in November, while Gatwick's figures increased by 6.2 per cent.

BAA's UK airports handled a total of 10.8 million passengers in November.

l WHAT do you think? E-mail us at editor@saffronwaldenreporter.co.uk or editor@dunmowbroadcast.co.uk

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