Airport trade body ACI Europe has released the air traffic report that shows passenger traffic grew by 4.4% at Europe’s airports for the first quarter of this year (Q1).

The air transport report involves civil aviation passenger flights such as low-cost, full-service and charter.

EU airports reported an increase in passenger traffic by 4.8%, with airports in Austria and Estonia posting double-digit growth in Q1.

Romania, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Luxembourg grew more than the EU average.

ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec said: “While softening compared to the past two years, passenger traffic remains dynamic, especially in the EU. This reflects improved economic data in the Eurozone and a more benign global economic outlook for now.

“But, while prospects have somehow moved from a half-empty glass to a half-full one, black spots still abound. Volatile oil prices, continued airline consolidation, ATM disruptions and increasing airport capacity constraints will limit airline capacity growth in the coming months.

“On the demand side, sliding imports and a risk of trade escalations are ever-present. And over the medium-term, rising concerns about aviation’s environmental impact will likely add to the downward pressures.”

Sweden was the only country that reported a decline of 4.1% in passenger traffic.

The report showed airports in the non-EU market registering a lower growth rate due to traffic losses in Turkey and Iceland.

Meanwhile, passenger traffic at airports in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Belarus recorded double-digit growth.

During the quarter, freight traffic showed a decline of 1.8%.