The Associated Press is reporting that passenger numbers for European airlines fell 8.3 percent in May, the worst drop since the economic downturn curtailed business and tourist travel.
Early figures for June are "just slightly less gloomy," it said, with passenger numbers falling around 7.5 percent in the first half of the month compared to last year.
Lufthansa AG, Europe's biggest airline, posted a 6.6 percent drop in passenger numbers from a year ago. Air France was down 7.4 percent and British Airways PLC was down 7 percent. Smaller airlines serving vacation destinations saw sharper drops: Greece's Olympic Airlines was down 26.3 percent.
Globally, airlines expect to lose $9 billion this year.
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) said there were signs that demand on European and North Atlantic routes was stabilizing in line with the lower number of seats available "although the Far East market remains very weak."
The AEA has some 33 European airline members that employ 394,000 people and has a total yearly turnover of over $100 billion annually.