13 January 2011

Natural events and industrial action hampered recovery of the European airline industry in 2010 new figures have shown. The Association of European Airlines (AEA) estimates that the industry grew traffic by 2.5% last year to 335 million air traffic movements. However, factors such as the Icelandic volcano eruption, the adverse weather in December and the industrial action at British Airways led the AEA to estimate an underlying growth rate of 5-6%.

Figures produced by Eurocontrol, the air traffic control body, estimate that 160,000 flights within Europe were cancelled during 2010. Of these, 100,000 were attributed to the volcanic eruption, but the remaining 60,000 represented a 150% increase over the previous year’s level of cancellations.