Snowfall adds to February traffic decline

20 March 2009

Heavy snowfall over February contributed to the decrease in air traffic last month.

Controllers at NATS, the UK’s major air traffic management provider, handled 154,535 flights last month compared to 180,737 in the same month the year before – a reduction of 14.5 per cent.

Analysis of the figures shows the decrease was exaggerated by airport closures and flight cancellations caused by freezing weather conditions, together with an extra Leap Year day in February last year. Without these variable factors, the dip would have been around 11 per cent.

Flights to international destinations were also down, with the exception of Greece, which recorded an increase of 20.9 per cent, largely attributed to a new service from Stansted to Athens.

Airlines begin their summer flight schedules on March 29th.

Feb

2009

Feb

2008

% gr 2009    to Date 2008 to Date % gr
UK FLIGHTS 154,535 180,737 -14.5% 321,857 366,622 -12.2%
CENTRES
London Area Control Centre (Swanwick) 125,580 145,992 -14.0% 261,699 296,086 -11.6%
London Terminal Control Centre 89,593 104,487 -14.3% 186,682 212,176 -12.0%
Manchester Area Control Centre 34,271 42,815 -20.0% 71,141 86,652 -17.9%
Scottish Area Control Centre 39,149 46,613 -16.0% 83,009 96,106 -13.6%
Oceanic Area Control Centre (Shanwick) 27,496 29,811 -7.8% 57,615 61,606 -6.5%
MARKET
Transatlantic Arrivals/Departures 8,774 10,302 -14.8% 18,695 21,260 -12.1%
Transatlantic Overflights 12,978 14,299 -9.2% 27,374 29,430 -7.0%
Other Arrivals/Departures 92,497 108,757 -15.0% 192,441 219,920 -12.5%
Other Overflights 8,020 9,470 -15.3% 16,915 19,258 -12.2%
Domestic 32,049 37,632 -14.8% 65,962 76,176 -13.4%

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