Athens Airport Passenger Traffic Drops 5.4% as Economy Slumps
Athens International Airport SA said passenger traffic in the first eight months of this year fell 5.4 percent as the economic crisis hurt domestic travel.
The number of people passing through the country’s biggest airport dropped to 10.1 million, from 10.6 million a year earlier, according to the statement on the company’s website today. Domestic passenger numbers declined 12 percent, to 3.4 million, and international traffic fell to 6.6 million from 6.7 million, the statement said.
Greek travel spending has been hit by the economic crisis, the company said. Strikes, especially in the transportation industry “negatively affected” tourist arrivals and hurt the capital’s image, according to the statement. Taxi drivers were on strike for almost three weeks at the height of Greece’s tourist season and have resumed industrial action this month with a 24-hour walkout scheduled for tomorrow.
In August, the number of domestic travelers was down 4.1 percent, at 533,112. International traffic fell for the first time in five months, down 2.4 percent to 1.1 million euros.
The government passed a 28 billion-euro ($40 billion) package of extra austerity measures in June and European leaders agreed on a second aid package for Greece after a 110 billion- euro European Union-led bailout in May last year failed to convince that the country could avoid a default.
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