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Passenger numbers at airports take off

Geneva, Basel and Zurich airports have reported an increase in passenger numbers in 2010.

Nearly 12 million people used Geneva airport last year, an increase of 4.9 per cent compared to 2009.

The rise was surprising since the airport was shut for several days, first in April due to the cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano that grounded aircraft across Europe and then in December because of snowfall.

The number of flight movements (both take-offs and landings) at Geneva airport rose by 2.74 per cent last year.

The EuroAirport at Basel, jointly run by Switzerland and France, saw the number of passengers up by seven per cent to 4.1 million and flight movements increasing by three per cent.

For its part, the national carrier, Swiss, reported that it transported more than 14 million passengers last year, an increase of 2.8% compared to 2009.

Both airports also experienced a sharp rise in freight handling. In Geneva the total tonnage grew by 32 per cent, and in Basel the figure was up 26 per cent.

Zurich notched up a record year, welcoming 22.9 million passengers. This was up 4.3 per cent on 2009. The number of local travellers increased by 7.7 per cent, helping Zurich beat its previous record of 22.7 million travellers in 2000.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR