Athens Airport was among the 30 busiest airports in the EU in 2016 handling increased traffic by 10.6 percent, according to data released this week by Eurostat, the Union’s statistical office.
The EU’s three busiest airports were London Heathrow handling 75.7 million passengers, an increase of 1.0 percent compared with 2015; Paris’ Charles de Gaulle with 65.8 million travelers up by 0.3 percent and Amsterdam’s Schiphol with 63.6 million flyers up by 9.3 percent.
Athens Airport was also ranked 22nd in the EU for 2016 in terms of passenger traffic, handling 20 million passengers. Broken down, domestic traffic accounted for 7.1 million, travelers from the EU came to 8.96 million, while passenger traffic outside the EU accounted for 3.9 million.
Greek airports in total handled 45.5 million passengers in 2016, recording an 8.2 percent rise with 29.7 million from EU countries, 8.17 million were domestic travelers and 7.66 million from non-EU states.
Meanwhile, according to Eurostat figures, Luton airport in the UK recorded the greatest growth Europe-wide with passenger traffic up by 19.4 percent.
Notably, 54.4 million people traveled by air in 2016 compared to 2015 breaking an EU record at almost 1 billion – a 5.9 percent rise and a 29.1 percent increase against 2009.
The year also saw intra-EU transport account for almost half (47.0 percent) of total air passenger transport in the EU and extra-EU transport for over a third (35.6 percent).