ECONOMY

Domestic air traffic drops

Athens International Airport (AIA) reported on Wednesday a 9.4 percent annual decline in passenger traffic in the January-May period, owing to a significant drop in domestic travel.

With the financial crisis seeing people traveling less and with the reopening of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road, whose closure last year forced more travelers to fly between Greece?s two largest cities, domestic traffic at the airport dropped 19.1 percent in the year to May, AIA said, while international traffic fell 3.2 percent.

In May alone, however, the number of domestic passengers dropped by just 6.7 percent year-on-year.

The trend in foreign arrivals and departures appears to be reversing, as figures for April and May indicate an increase in international passenger traffic year-on-year.

In total, 5.23 million passengers used Athens Airport in the first five months of 2011, down from 5.77 million in the same period last year.

Last week the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) reported a 4.5 percent yearly increase in international arrivals via the country?s main airports in the year to May.