European airports suffering ‘significant’ slowdown

Europe’s airports are suffering from deteriorating trading conditions due to a “significant” slowdown in traffic growth this year.

The warning from the Airports Council International came amid heightened uncertainty over the eurozone crisis and global economy.

Demand for air transport in Europe is likely to be “sluggish at best” for the remainder of the year following a “dynamic recovery” in passengers in 2011.

ACI director general Olivier Jankovec said: “The Olympics and the European Football Championship are just about the only ray of light for many EU airports at the moment.

“The eurozone crisis has brought passenger traffic to a standstill and already sent freight traffic into recession. Airports are faced with a worrying combination of negative determinants affecting air traffic – many of which are specific to the EU.

“Beyond the debt crisis, volatility in fuel prices, national aviation taxes and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme are all adding to the pain.

“Airports have seen a 46% decrease in the number of new air routes opened in 2011. This is a strong indication that airlines are moving from being supply-driven to being demand-driven.

“This also means increased network volatility and seasonality for airports, as well as continuous and effective pressure on the level of our charges.”

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