Moscow’s Two Biggest Airports Close in on European Top Ten

Moscow’s two biggest airports are closer to breaking into the Top 10 of Europe’s largest hubs after more established centers like Rome and Madrid lost ground last year as the the debt crisis rattled the countries.

Passenger traffic grew 9.6 percent to 28.2 million travelers at Domodedovo airport, the Russian capital’s largest hub, and 16 percent at Sheremetyevo International, according to an Airports Council International Europe report released today.

The Russian aerodromes are gaining ground as their traditional European rivals struggle to add travelers as a sluggish economy hurts demand. London’s Gatwick Airport, ranked No. 10, grew 1.6 percent in 2012 and served just over six million more people than Domodedovo, while the difference in traffic between Sheremetyevo and Paris Orly Airport was about one million passengers, ACI said in the report.

“Europe is a two-speed aviation market,” Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI Europe, said in a statement. “EU airports are stuck in recession for both passenger and freight traffic,”

Non-EU airports growth has jumped 38 percent since 2008, compared with 2.5 percent at European Union airports, Jankovec said.

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