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Passenger demand dips in Europe

AFTER A COMPARATIVELY SUCCESSFUL 2008, the 60-member European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has been warned that intra-European travel demand is slipping back.

Speaking at the Association's annual conference in Warsaw, ERA director-general Mike Ambrose said early indications showed a "considerable worsening in demand".

"The effects of the current economic crisis are already severely reducing the economic viability of many airlines," he said.

"We must all work together to ensure aviation continues to contribute to Europe's overall employment and social goals." ERA members between them recorded a 0.4 per cent increase in passenger numbers last year. Load factors fell, but only by 0.5 percentage points.