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"Terror scare slashes UK airport profits"
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Terror scare slashes airport profits
The Irish Examiner
Heathrow and Gatwick owner BAA said today the summer terror scare slashed
profits by £21m (€€31.3m).
BAA said the disruption to flights during the August chaos cut half-year
revenues by £14m (€20.8m) and increased costs by £7m (€10.4m).
The airport operator also said it faced one-off costs of £45m (€67m)from its
takeover by Spanish firm Ferrovial as operating profits for the six months to
September 30 fell nearly 12% to £389m (€579.6m).
BAA came under intense criticism from the airlines in the aftermath of the
terror alert, involving an alleged plot to blow transatlantic planes out of the
Airlines complained BAA did not have the necessary procedures in place to keep
planes flying or deal with the heightened level of security required.
British Airways saw 1,280 of its flights grounded and recently said the cost of
the disruption ran to £100m (€149m).
Today’s results from BAA will be closely looked at by the Competition
Commission in the expected inquiry into BAA’s ownership of airports in the UK.
Last week, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said the current ownership of seven
airports by BAA, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, “does not deliver
best value for air travellers in the UK”.
It said greater competition could bring significant benefits for passengers and
indicated that it planned to request a full investigation by the Competition
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