Athens and Santorini airports welcomed an increasing number of travelers in the first half of 2015, recording the strongest growth in passenger traffic in Europe, in their respective categories, according to data released Wednesday, by the Airports Council Europe (ACI Europe).
The ACI Europe report found that passenger growth at Athens International Airport (AIA) grew by 23.3 percent, placing it at the top of its airport category, (Group 2) with a capacity of 10-25 million passengers annually. London Stansted followed with 16.9 percent and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen with 16.6 percent, both in the same category.
AIA also topped its group with a 21.9 percent rise in passenger traffic for the month of June, followed by Dublin airport at 18.0 percent and Lisbon airport at 12.7 percent.
The airport on the popular Cycladic isle of Santorini, meanwhile, saw a 33.2 percent increase in passenger traffic, recording the strongest performance among EU airports handling less than 5 million passengers yearly. In its group (4) the airports of Romanian cities Sibiu grew by 32.3 percent and Cluj by 30.5 percent.
Passenger traffic in Europe for the January-June period this year recorded a rise of 4.5 percent, while aircraft movement grew by 2 percent.
Representing over 450 airports in 45 European countries, Brussels-based ACI Europe serves the European airport industry and its world report includes data from 211 European airports, representing over 88 percent of passenger traffic in European air transport.