MILAN Rastislav Štefánik Airport in Bratislava (BTS) recorded 303,336 passengers in the first three months of 2009, representing a drop of 29.4 percent compared to the same period in 2008.
The fall was caused by the global economic downturn, which has significantly lowered people’s eagerness to travel, said Dana Madunická, spokeswoman for Bratislava Airport, as reported by the ČTK newswire.
According to the statistics, March was the busiest month of 2009 so far in terms of passenger numbers, but the total handled, 106,894, was still one third down on March 2008.
“Some impact on the significant year-on-year drop in March was also due to the fact that last year the Easter holidays were in March,” Madunická told ČTK.
She also added that the interest among foreign tourists in visiting Bratislava was declining.
The biggest transporters at Bratislava Airport are the low-cost airlines Ryanair and SkyEurope Airlines.
In March 2009, passengers travelled mainly to London, Milan and Košice.
While passenger numbers have fallen, cargo transport recorded a significant increase, multiplying 18 times to over 2,100 tonnes. This was mainly the result of the launch last year, by cargo company DHL Express, of a regular line between Bratislava and Leipzig.
20. Apr 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports