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European air traffic: “alarming decline”


ACI Europe reports “progressive slowdown” in 2012

The European airport trade body ACI Europe has released its traffic results for 2012, a year it describes as “marked by a progressive slowdown in passenger traffic”. Overall passenger traffic at Europe’s airports saw an increase of just 1.8% compared to 2011, with a clear divide between the EU market and other European countries.
Passenger traffic at EU airports has been in recession since October, ACI Europe says, and barely grew on a yearly basis (+0.2%). Yet non-EU airports posted a strong performance for the year (+8.8%), led by Iceland, Turkey, Russia, Georgia and Moldova.
“More than ever, Europe is a two-speed aviation market,” Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s director general, commented. “Since 2008, passenger traffic has grown by less than 2.5% at EU airports and by more than 38% at non-EU ones. For now, EU airports are stuck in recession for both passenger and freight traffic. The Eurozone economies may show signs of stabilising, but the ‘positive contagion’ referred to by the European Central Bank remains elusive when it comes to air traffic. This reflects weak business confidence and record unemployment levels in many countries, but also the woes of several European airlines which are downsizing and cutting capacity.”
[pictured: Helsinki Airport; photo courtesy Finavia]


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