The figures were revealed in the Air Traffic Report for September and Q3, which assessed 173 airports, and represented more than 88% of European passenger traffic.
At EU airports traveller numbers rose by 1.8%, while at non-EU airports led by Turkey, Russia, Iceland and Norway they soared by 8.8%.
Freight traffic among European airports showed minimal growth at 0.9%, while aircraft movements were almost flat at 0.3%.
Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI EUROPE, says: “European passenger traffic is getting more surefooted, thanks to the improving performance at EU airports which started at the end of the winter.
“However, the recovery remains quite soft, and generally contrasted between Southern Europe and the rest of the continent.
“Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus continue to lose passengers, although at a slower pace. As for freight, volumes have also improved, but they still remain below 2010 levels.”