Prague airport passenger numbers fall again

Prague airport said Monday it had cleared fewer passengers in 2010 than in 2009 because of the Icelandic volcano eruption in April and heavy snowfall that hit traffic across Europe late last year.

The airport said in a statement it had cleared 11.56 million passengers in 2010, down from 11.64 million the year before and from a record-high 12.7 million in 2008, before the global downturn hit.

The volcano and the snowfall cut passenger numbers by an estimated 290,000, said the airport.

"I'm glad we managed to keep our figures at the 2009 level despite the lingering effects of the economic crisis and unfavourable weather conditions," Prague airport board member Jiri Pos was quoted as saying.

"This year, we expect passenger numbers to grow by two or even three percent."

The airport, fully owned by the state, offered flights to 131 destinations with 47 airlines last year.