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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Air traffic between the United States and Europe is still down from before the Sept. 11 attacks but is steadily improving, the Association of European Airlines said Tuesday.

In the week ending May 12, the last for which the association had figures, scheduled air traffic across the North Atlantic _ which is key to the health of many airlines _ was off by 10.1 percent compared for the same week the year before.

For the period since Jan. 1, traffic is down 14.9 percent compared to a year earlier, the association said. Since Sept. 11, it is down by 22.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

In the last quarter of 2001, traffic on North Atlantic routes was off by almost 31 percent compared to the same period in 2000, the association said.