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European airports experience passenger decline

Airports in Europe are experiencing challenging trading conditions

Airports in Europe are experiencing challenging trading conditions after it was revealed that 82 per cent have reported falls in traffic so far this year.

This is according to new figures from Airports Council International (ACI), which translate into 105 million lost passengers over the course of 2009.

Despite the statistics, the ACI said there are "tangible signs" that the air traffic downturn is bottoming out, with the pace of air traffic recovery in winter expected to remain "slow and gradual".

It is believed that recovery is being driven by the growth of cheap flights carriers, which are hoping to keep the industry as a whole afloat.

Director general of ACI Europe Olivier Jankovec said that airports are bracing themselves for "structural market changes".

"We are simply asking for a true industrial policy for aviation – a policy which focuses on the competitiveness of the European aviation system and the unique role it plays in fostering economic growth by connecting people, places and businesses," he explained.

The ACI reported today (November 13th) that European air passenger traffic had declined by 4.1 percent in September compared to the same month in 2008.

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