Airport Traffic Starting to Return

by Alister POOLE on December 15, 2009

One of the industries hit hardest by the global downturn in the economy has been the air travel industry.  Airlines have had to cut back flights as seats are begin left unfilled, especially for expensive travel abroad.  A growing number of Brits decided to stay home for holidays this year and those who did decide to take a vacation did so domestically and used transportation other than planes.  There have recently been signs that the economy may be starting to bounce back.  Early sales numbers for holiday shopping have shown that consumer confidence is beginning to return in the economy, which is good news for air travel.  Some recent studies have shown that even though flights are way down for the year that the month of November actually showed some positive signs that things are returning to normal for airlines.

A recent report showed that airport traffic at Britain’s busiest airports has increased by nearly one percent since this time last year.  Although it is only a minor upswing it is the first such increase since March of 2008, so airports and airlines see this as a major shift.  Overall traffic has fallen nearly two percent over the last twelve months, which makes the increase in November a good sign, but not one that means airports are out of the woods just yet.  All of Heathrow, Gatwick, and Edinburgh saw moderate increases in travel in November, while Stansted, Glasgow, and Aberdeen all saw small losses.

Those in the airline industry hope that the numbers reflect a broader return of consumer confidence.  More will be known after the holiday season, which is usually the busiest time of year for airports.

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