Stansted: Airport reports underlying increase in February passenger numbers

Passenger numbers continued to grow at Stansted Airport during February

Passenger numbers continued to grow at Stansted Airport during February - Credit: PA

STANSTED Airport saw a 3% like-for-like increase in passenger numbers during its final month under the ownership of the former BAA group.

Figures released by Stansted’s new owner, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), show that the airport handled 1,103,618 passengers in February. This was virtually unchanged from the February 2012 total of 1,104,071, but that figures included an extra leap year day.

Stansted’s rolling 12-month passenger total now stands at 17,467,314, 2.5% down compared with the previous year, compared with a year-on-year shortfall of 2.8% to the end of January.

February’s underlying increase follows a 1% increase in numbers at Stansted during January, when the total climed to 1,081,360 compared with 1,070,326 in January 2012.

Last year, Stansted did not achieve its first annual month-on-month increase until November.

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MAG completed its £1.5billion acquisition of Stansted from Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly known as BAA, on February 28.

The former BAA group fought a three-year battle against a Competition Commission ruling that it must sell Stansted before throwing in the towel last summer.

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The Competition Commission ruled in 2009 that BAA – which is owned by a consortium led by Spanish group Ferrovial – had to sell both Stansted and Gatwick due to concerns over a lack of competition between London’s three main airports, which, led by Heathrow, were then all owned by the same company.

MAG, which also includes Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, is majority owned by the 10 borough councils of Greater Manchester, with Industry Funds Management having taken a 35.5% equity interest in the enlarged MAG group as part of the Stansted deal.

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