BAA has revealed a revenues hit of more than £40 million at Heathrow and Stansted following the volcanic ash crisis and BA strike action.
The blow followed severe disruption from the ash cloud, closing Heathrow and Stansted for six days in April, while BA’s strike woes and wintry weather at the start of the year added to troubles.
But BAA said it was not expecting 2010 earnings to be more than £10 million lower than originally forecast, thanks to cost cutting and forecasts for improving passenger traffic and revenues.
The group is predicting underlying earnings of £946 million in 2010, despite the slump in passengers due to the industry’s tough start to the year.
BAA revealed last month that the ash cloud saw the number of passengers at Heathrow fall by 20.8% to 4.4 million in April, while Stansted dropped 24.4% to 1.2 million.
Over the first five months of the year, the decline in passenger traffic was 5.3% to 31.1 million across the two airports.
It said 2010 figures were likely to show a 1.6 million decline due to the ash cloud and an estimated one million loss in passenger numbers due to the ongoing industrial airline action and snow.
But it hopes this will be partly mitigated by expected growth of one million more passengers passing through the two major UK airports this year, particularly long haul fliers at Heathrow this summer.