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Number of aircrafts directed by HungaroControl down about 2% last year

Hungarian air traffic controller HungaroControl directed 606,947 aircraft last year, down 1.73% from 2010, communications director Katalin Szőke told MTI.

The number of en-route aircraft, which account for more than 80% of the total, edged down 2.66%, Szőke said. The number of flights landing or taking off in Hungary rose 2.76%.

Szőke attributed the decline in the number of en-route aircraft to the economic downturn in the eurozone, the drop in tourism in North Africa and the Middle East because of political unrest there, and the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Iraq.

She said it was difficult to project a trend for this year because of the uncertain effect of the crisis in the eurozone on air traffic as well as the pace at which other airlines take over the capacity of grounded national carrier Malév.

Malév's troubles negatively affect HungaroControl, but they do not put its business at risk, Szőke said, explaining that only a little more than 10% of HungaroControl's turnover was generated by the airline. She added that HungaroControl did not expect a significant fall in revenue in the long term.