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BAA European, Long-Haul Back On Growth Path

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European and long-haul traffic through airports managed by British operator BAA returned to growth in July while its flagship airport, London Heathrow, recorded its third busiest month on record.

Numbers of passengers grew 1.2 percent in Europe and 4.8 percent across the long-haul network, excluding North Atlantic routes, the operator -- majority-owned by Spain's Ferrovial -- said Monday.

Overall, BAA airports handled 14.5 million passengers, down 2.4 percent compared to July 2008, following decreases of 5.9 percent in June and 7.3 percent in May.

Traffic at Heathrow was up 0.9 percent.

At Gatwick, which debt-laden BAA is under pressure from regulators to sell, passenger numbers fell 4.8 percent, slowing the rate of decline from the 7.6 percent registered in June.

Cargo activity measured by tonnes carried fell 11.7 percent as the economic slump continues to impact trade flows.

(Reuters)

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