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More Brits Flying Now Than During Gulf War: Official

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More Brits Flying Now Than During Gulf War: Official

Old 30th Oct 2001, 12:16
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The Guvnor
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Thumbs up More Brits Flying Now Than During Gulf War: Official

It's great to be posting some positive news for a change!

From today's Telegraph:

Nation's fear of flying is less than after the Gulf War

By Paul Marston, Transport Correspondent
(Filed: 30/10/2001)

DEMAND for flying among Britons has fallen less sharply following the September 11 attacks than it did after the outbreak of the Gulf War, airport operators said yesterday.

BAA, which runs the three main London airports and four other UK bases, said passenger numbers for the first three weeks of October were 12 per cent lower than a year ago. After six weeks of hostilities in 1991, volumes were down almost 20 per cent.

Mike Hodgkinson, the company's chief executive, was confident that "growth will return" to currently depressed routes, such as those over the Atlantic, even though traffic plunged 38 per cent in the weeks after the attacks.

Domestic and European routes have been far less affected and dropped barely three per cent. This disparity explains the continuing success of short-haul budget operators such as EasyJet and Ryanair, while the transatlantic carriers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, are facing record losses.

British Airways will announce its October traffic figures next week, but some travel agents estimate that demand for services to and from America will be as much as 50 per cent lower than for the same month last year.

BAA's optimism underpins its insistence that plans for a fifth terminal at Heathrow must go ahead. Critics of the project argue that the current crisis removes the need for expansion. But Mr Hodgkinson said the need for Terminal Five was as great as when the planning application was lodged in 1993.

Stephen Byers, the Transport Secretary, is expected to announce his decision within the next fortnight.

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