ACI Europe is "cautiously positive" about European airport traffic following a 2.8 per cent year-on-year increase in overall passenger traffic across Europe in 2013. Non-EU countries – such as Turkey, Russia, Iceland and Norway – celebrated a 9.6 per cent traffic spike while EU airports took a modest one per cent increase. Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, commented: "EU airports have consistently underperformed their non-EU counterparts throughout the year. This is due to the continued impact of the Eurozone crisis and the maturity of the EU air transport market, where air travel is now a commodity. However, this performance gap has narrowed over the last months, and it is encouraging to see the bounceback in passenger traffic at many airports across the EU, especially in Ireland and Portugal - or even Spain and Greece."
Freight traffic at European airports reported an increase of just 0.8 per cent in 2013, while the overall number of aircraft movements still decreased by 1.2 per cent. Jankovec added: "There seem to be enough hopeful signs that Europe can sustain its nascent economic recovery, which is pointing to an even more positive picture for air traffic in the months ahead. Yet, downside risks remain and traffic growth prospects are likely to be constrained by several factors, particularly in the EU. A jobless recovery combined with damaging aviation taxes in the UK, Germany, France and Austria is not helping spur demand for air services."