Europe Travel

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

News: Volcano ash chaos cost airport operator BAA £28m

UK airport operator BAA has said that the closure of Heathrow and Stansted earlier this month by the volcanic ash cloud has cost it £28m.

These comments came as it reported a £195.5m pre-tax loss for the three months to March, an improvement on the £316.2m loss seen a year earlier.

But it said the harsh weather, tighter security, strikes and the recession had failed to curb air travel over winter.

Passenger traffic rose 0.2% to 18.6 million during the quarter.

However, it warned that the months ahead could be tough.

"The rest of 2010 continues to present significant financial challenges for the industry as a whole," said BAA chief executive Colin Matthews.

"We currently estimate that the closure of Heathrow and Stansted due to volcanic ash will have a total impact on 2010 adjusted EBITDA (adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of £28m."

BAA, which is majority owned by Spain's Ferrovial, operates six airports in the UK - Heathrow, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Southampton. The company sold Gatwick airport for £1.5bn last year.


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