The primary UK airport operator has announced a substantial increase in profits amid continued growth at Heathrow.

Airport news for Heathrow,Finance on 23/02/2012.

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Figures released by the British Airports Authority this week revealed 2011’s full-year profits were up 17 per cent from 2010 in spite of the Spanish-owned firm having to turn down offers for potentially lucrative new routes to and from the west London hub.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of the BAA, said in a statement that the company had turned away a handful of Chinese airlines over the last year that were looking to launch new service between Asia and Heathrow - Europe’s biggest air gateway. He added that the companies were shocked when they were told no, which he said the BAA was forced to do simply because there was no available space.

But Matthews added that significant growth had occurred over the course of the year thanks to few disruptions as well as the use of larger aircraft such as the A380, which pushed up load factors – the aviation industry’s measurement of how full planes are. He went on to say that this type of growth would continue in 2012.

Total 2011 earnings for the BAA amounted to £1.13 billion before depreciation, taxes and interest whilst revenues reached £2.28 billion, marking a 10 per cent increase from the same figure seen in 2010.

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