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Air passenger transport down by 4.1% in 2009

The total number of passengers transported by air fell by 4.1% in 2009 in Hungary to just over 8 million, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, reported today. 

The total number of air passengers dropped by 6% in the EU27 in 2009 to 751 million, showing the impact of the economic crisis, the Eurostat said. This is the first fall recorded in the EU since 2002, marked by the effect of 11 September 2001 on passenger numbers. Total freight and mail transported by air in the EU27 also fell by 12% in 2009.

Quarterly data indicate that air transport has already begun to recover from the effects of the economic crisis in the EU27. There was a gradual improvement throughout 2009, with passenger numbers falling by 12% in the first quarter, then by 7% in Q2, by 5% in Q3 and by only 1% in Q4. In the first quarter of 2010, passenger numbers increased by 2% compared with the first quarter of 2009. Preliminary data for April 2010 indicate that the volcanic eruption in Iceland brought a temporary halt to this recovery, with passenger numbers falling by 18%, compared with April 2009. (GL)