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Pazar, 16 Haziran 2024

BA strike grounded 200,000 passengers


Airport operator BAA says Heathrow was hardest hit, with 180,000 passengers prevented from flying by cabin crew industrial action


Last month’s British Airways strikes prevented around 200,000 passengers from flying from UK airports, with Heathrow suffering most of the shortfall.


Airport operator BAA reported this morning that Heathrow missed out on 180,000 passengers in March because of the two periods of industrial action which disrupted BA’s services. A further 20,000 people failed to travel from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports, which were also affected by the strikes.


Heathrow, which bore the brunt of the walkout, carried 5.2 million people last month – an increase of 0.4% on a year ago. BAA said that without the strike, its flagship airport would have recorded passenger growth of 3.8%.


BAA also blamed the strike for a 1.5% drop in overall passenger numbers across its UK airports during March, saying it would otherwise have posted a 1% gain. However, it also reported a 4.2% drop in passengers at Stansted, which was not directly affected by the BA dispute.


"There is no doubt that the market remains difficult, compounded by industrial action last month," said Colin Matthews, BAA’s chief executive officer. "Despite the industrial action, Heathrow continued to demonstrate the resilience which comes from its role as the UK’s only hub airport."


The strike hit BAA just a few months after it was forced to sell Gatwick airport in a deal which cost it £277m. The drop in passenger will also have hurt retailers at Heathrow, where the new Terminal 5 was designed with a major focus on shopping.


Last week British Airways reported that the strikes have cost it up to £45m, and meant it carried 400,000 fewer passengers. Today’s traffic stats from BAA suggest that roughly half those people travelled with another airline, with the rest cancelling their trip or going by rail or road.


The dispute, over jobs and pay, is ongoing, although the Unite union has not yet announced any further strike dates.

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