ECONOMY

Airport traffic down 5 percent for 2010

Athens International Airport (AIA) said on Tuesday that passenger traffic declined 5 percent last year as the Greek crisis weighed on domestic arrivals.

The number of people passing through the airport fell to 15.4 million from 16.2 million in 2009, according to a statement issued by AIA. International traffic dropped by 2.4 percent, while domestic arrivals and departures fell 9.4 percent.

Tourism is a key income earner for the Greek economy, accounting for some 18 percent of annual gross domestic product and about one in five jobs.

In December, 15 percent fewer passengers passed through the airport compared with the same month in 2009 as heavy snowfall disrupted travel across Europe.

The number of international travelers fell 8.1 percent to 630,095, while the number of domestic passengers was down for the ninth straight month to 342,583, a 24 percent drop, the statement showed.