Aegean Airlines on Friday announced a 5.0 pct decline in its 2010 passenger traffic, hit by an economic crisis in the country.

he Greek airline company said passenger traffic totaled 6.23 million in 2010, with domestic traffic down 16 pct to 3.17 million, although international traffic rose 9.0 pct to 3.06 million passengers.

Turnover totaled 590 million euros, resulting in a net loss of 22-24 million euros, including an extra tax charge of 8.0 million euros.
Aegean Airlines announced a reduction of its fleet and its capacity, particularly in domestic flights, a move combined with new systems introduced because of its entry to StarAlliance helped in limiting costs. The airline company it expected additional benefits by operating a fleet exclusively of Airbus A320 aircraft.

The company said initial signs over this year's tourism season were positive but estimated it would report losses for the current year.