Airports Council International (ACI) Europe has reported that European airports achieved a 3.2% rise in passenger traffic in January 2012 when compared to the same month in 2011.
Overall freight traffic passing through European airports reported a 7.5% decline in January, while aircraft movements also reported a 2.1% decline when compared the corresponding month in 2011.
ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec, said: "January figures point to worrying prospects for the months ahead."
Jankovec continued: "The apparent resilience in passenger traffic conceals a rather contrasted picture, with non-EU airports growing by 12.2% but EU growth at just 1.4%.
"Freight traffic clearly reflects continued weaknesses in the European economy while aircraft movements are set to further decline in the wake of Spanair and Malev's demise, to say nothing of renewed oil price pressure."
European airports serving more than 25 million passengers per year (Group 1) reported a 4.6% rise in January passenger traffic compared to the same month in 2011, while airports serving 10-25 million passengers (Group 2) reported a 2.9% rise in passenger traffic during the period.
Airports serving 5-10 million passengers (Group 3) reported a 0.6% rise in passenger traffic during the period while the airports handling the passenger traffic less than five million passengers (Group 4) reported a 2.4% rise during the period.
When compared to January 2010, the passenger traffic of Group 1, Group 2, Group 3 and Group 4 airports rose 12.7%, 10.0%, 7.9% and 10.6% respectively.
Among Group 1 airports, Istanbul Atatürk Airport in Turkey reported the highest rise in traffic with 25.4%, while among Group 2 airports Moscow Airport in Russia reported a 20% rise.
Kiev Airport in Ukraine reported the highest traffic increase of 14% among Group 3 airports, while Vatry airport in France reported a 223% rise in passenger traffic, the highest increase of Europe's Group 4 airports.
Image: Atatürk Airport in Istanbul reported a 25.4% rise in passenger traffic during January 2012, the highest increase among Group 1 airports during the period. Photo: Ercan Karakas