Rail chaos boosts air passengers


Stansted Airport operator BAA saw domestic passenger numbers surge last month as people escaped the rail chaos by travelling by plane.

BAA, which operates seven UK airports, including Stansted, said the disruption to rail services added approximately 200,000 passengers on its UK mainland routes.

It helped passenger numbers in November to rise to 9.1 million, an increase of 5.6 per cent on the same month last year.

BAA also operates Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

Its fastest growing individual airports during the month were Stansted and then Southampton.

And the three Scottish airports recorded double-digit increases.

BAA added that the changes recently announced by British Airways -- to restructure its operations out of Gatwick -- would not significantly affect the airport's future development plans.

The group said BA's plans would see it retain a key operation at Gatwick, while other airlines were planning expansion there.