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BRUSSEL: Europe’s airport traffic last year tumbled to 1995 levels, data from a regional industry group showed on Friday, with hubs in Turkey and Russia faring better than those in Western Europe.

European airports lost 1.72 billion passengers in 2020, or over 70%, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by Airports Council International Europe, bringing traffic back to numbers last seen before the low-cost travel boom. “No industry can on its own withstand such a shock,” ACI Europe chief Olivier Jankovec said in a statement.

He added that only 2.2 billion euros ($2.66 billion) so far have been earmarked to support the region’s airports, less than 8% of the revenues they lost last year.

ACI said airports within the European Union were hit harder than those outside the bloc, mainly due to the size and relative resilience of domestic markets in Russia and Turkey - as well as less stringent travel and lockdown restrictions.

Frankfurt suffered the largest fall in passenger traffic of the major air hubs, down 73%, closely followed by London Heathrow, Amsterdam-Schipol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

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