UK airport operator, BAA, has revealed the true cost of a year impacted by industrial action by British Airways cabin crew, snow delays and volcanic ash – an annual loss of €376 million.
BAA said the disruptions meant 2.8 million fewer passengers passed through its airports last year, most of these lost to Heathrow.
However, despite the loss, the pre-tax, unadjusted figure is an improvement on 2009's loss of £822 million.
BAA chief executive, Colin Matthews, described the company's performance as "robust".
“We delivered a robust financial performance in 2010, despite the volcanic ash, strikes and snow that affected major airports across Europe and North America,” says Matthews.
“Strong passenger growth at Heathrow in the second half of the year reflected the ongoing improvement in the global economic climate.
“We continued to strengthen and diversify our funding position by raising £2 billion (€2.37 billion) of new financing, underpinning our investment in upgrading Heathrow.
“BAA is undertaking the UK’s biggest privately funded development with the airport’s new £2 billion Terminal 2, which will offer passengers a quicker and easier transfer experience by grouping the Star Alliance airlines together.
Significant progress has also been made in renovating older terminals and we are investing nearly £250 million (€300 million) in a new baggage tunnel between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 to speed up passengers’ journeys.
“In 2011, we expect to deliver a strong increase in profits and cash flow, enabling us to make further investments in improving facilities and further strengthening our financial position."
Last week, BAA lost its latest court challenge against the Competition Commission's ruling that it must sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.