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Geneva airport reports travel surge in 2008  Jan 12, 2009

GENEVA - Geneva airport, bucking a global industry downturn, on Monday said 11.5 million passengers passed through the hub in 2008, an increase of 5.7 percent over 2007 and the highest number in its history.

The already expanding airport, a major base for low-cost airline Easyjet (EZJ.L), also said that 2009 had started well, reporting 110,000 passengers in the first weekend of the year, the second highest total ever.

Hoteliers and ski stations in the region have been reporting healthy business since early December, despite fears that Europe's economic problems would sharply reduce the numbers of winter holidaymakers heading for the slopes.

Geneva's 90-year-old airport also has steady business from United Nations agencies, the World Trade Organisation and diplomatic missions and NGOs, as well as global airline and airports bodies IATA and ACI, which are all based in the city.

According to the IATA, overall passenger traffic worldwide dropped by 4.6 percent in November and looks likely to keep falling in what it has called a chronic crisis for the air travel industry.

ACI, which includes domestic as well as international airports in its figures, has reported a year-on-year decline of 8 percent in passengers processed by its members since November 2007.

Geneva airport reports travel surge in 2008
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