Airports slightly busier in Europe in 2012

Nov. 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Air travel rose slightly in Europe in 2012 compared to 2011, the European Commission said Tuesday, but 10 of 30 top airports reported declines.

In the 28-member European Union, the number of passengers rose 0.7 percent to nearly 830 million in 2012, the data office Eurostat said.

Brits were the busiest travelers with 203 million passengers in the year and London's Heathrow Airport was, in turn, the busiest airport, handling 70 million passengers in the year, up 0.9 percent form 2011.

Behind Britain, Germany boasted the second most passengers, 179 million, followed by 160 million from Spain and 135 million from France.

Behind Heathrow, the busiest airports were Charles De Gaulle in Paris and the Main Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, with 57 million and 51 million passengers passing through.

But some airports posted declines from 2011 to 2012.

In Athens, the drop was 10.2 percent, followed by Barajas in Madrid with a drop of 8.9 percent and Ruzyne in Prague, the Czech Republic, with a drop of 8.1 percent.

Declines were also posted by Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands (6.6 percent), Malpensa in Milan, Italy (4 percent), Stansted in London (3.2 percent), Malaga, Spain, (1.9 percent), Fiumicino in Rome (1.8 percent), Palma de Mallorca in Palma, (0.4 percent) and Vantaa in Helsinki, Finland (0.1 percent).

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