UK. BAA’s five airports handled 9.5 million passengers in August 2012, down by -2.0% on August 2011, including a drop of -1.9% at Heathrow to 6.5 million passengers.

The reduction was more pronounced in the first two weeks of August (down -4.6%) than in the rest of the month (up +0.3%). BAA said that this suggests a continuation of the ‘Olympics effect’ reported in July, with UK passengers staying at home as well as non-Olympic visitors from overseas choosing to defer their journeys.

Within the Heathrow figures, European scheduled traffic declined across the board, with only Denmark and Norway seeing an increase (+1.2% and +4.0% respectively). North Atlantic traffic continued to perform well, up +3.0% on last August, while Brazil and China increased +9.5% and +4.1%. India was down -8.7%.

Overall, passenger traffic at Heathrow in July and August has been lower than originally expected and the shortfall is not expected to be recovered later in the year.

At Stansted passenger numbers were down -5.2% compared with August 2011, while traffic through Southampton declined by -6.4%. Traffic through Aberdeen was up +9.2% and at Glasgow up +3.1%, resulting in a total increase at the Scottish airports of +4.9%.

BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews said: “We are proud of Heathrow’s performance during London 2012, and warmly thank the volunteers, our own staff and the many other organisations who planned and delivered a warm and efficient welcome to Great Britain. We intend to combine the best of the Games experience with Heathrow’s ongoing investment programme to steadily improve the airport for our passengers and airlines.”