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Passenger Traffic at Greece’s Biggest Airport Drops Through July

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Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Passenger traffic at Athens International Airport SA declined 12 percent in the first seven months of the year as Europe’s economic crisis continued to hurt spending on travel.

The number of people passing through the country’s biggest airport dropped to 7.4 million in the seven months through July 31 from 8.4 million a year ago, according to a statement posted on the airport’s website. International passenger traffic fell 14 percent to 4.8 million and domestic travelers were down 8.4 percent to 2.6 million.

“A small improvement was observed in the course of July compared to June, indicating that the summer traffic evolution is still very volatile,” according to the statement.

In July, the number of people passing through the airport fell 11.6 percent to 1.5 million, compared with a 12.3 percent drop in June, the Athens-based company said.

Tourism, Greece’s biggest industry, accounted for almost 16 percent of gross domestic product and almost one in five jobs in 2011, according to the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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