ECONOMY

Airport traffic numbers fail to take off

Growth in passenger traffic at Athens International Airport (AIA) in the first 11 months of 2008 was flat, showing zero growth for the first time since the airport started operating in 2001, according to data presented yesterday. During the first 11 months of the year, the total number of passengers passing through the airport reached 15.39 million people, versus 15.4 million in the same period one year earlier. The number of travelers going to or from destinations abroad via AIA hit 9.6 million from 9.8 million in 2007, data showed. AIA sources said the results were in line with their expectations due to pressure put on airline companies worldwide from the growing global crisis. The total number of passengers in 2007 hit 16.4 million, which represents an increase of 9.7 percent over the previous year. According to industry officials, the number of tourists visiting Greece in 2008 remained roughly at last year’s levels, while travelers from Romania and Bulgaria who drove into the country helped offset a drop in other markets.