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Major markets still down
Traffic volume on European carriers in July was still "depressed", the Association of European Airlines (AEA) said.
Figures for the month were 2.3% below those for July 2008 which the AEA said were already down because of the recession.
The major markets also posted larger deficits, with the North America traffic down 4.3%, the Far East 3.9% and intra-Europe 3.4%.
AEA, which represents the legacy carriers in Europe, said the overall figures had been mitigated by "some growth" in Middle East and Africa markets.
But the AEA said the rate in capacity decline had slowed from around 5% in May and June to 3.2% in July.
As this was larger than the traffic decline, AEA said members enjoyed a slight rise on load factors of 0.7% to 81.8%.
The Association predicted that figures for August would be similar to those in July.
Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, AEA's secretary general, said: "If the industry cannot make money in the peak summer season, it is clearly in a desperate situation, and yet our members are reporting ongoing losses.
" If the airlines cannot make money when they are 81.8% full, there is clearly something very wrong with the cost/revenue relationship".
"That is precisely what has happened. The premium-travel market has taken a huge hit from the financial and economic crises.
"Airlines across Europe are offering great deals to business passengers, but are still not managing to re-energise the market."