Athens Airport increases operations by 70% in 4 years

Almost 22 million passengers passed the airport in 2017 and new records are expected this year

The largest airport in Greece is undergoing an impressive recovery. Between 2007 and 2013 the number of passengers dropped from 16.5 million to 12.5 million because of the intense economic downturn. But last year the airport welcomed 21.7 million travellers – an increase of 70 per cent.

In 2017, more than  21.7 million travellers passed through the Athens International Airport — blackboard1965 / Shutterstoc Athens Airport increased operation by 70 per cent in 4 years
In 2017, more than 21.7 million travellers passed through the Athens International Airport — blackboard1965 / Shutterstock

According to the Anker report, Athens International Airport is profiting from an increase in connections, mainly by Greek carrier Aegean and its regional subsidiary Olympic Air. From 50 connections operating in 2013, the carrier has increased its volumes to more than 100.

The airline is concentrating on short- and medium-haul routes. So far it hasn’t entered the long-haul market.

“New routes already started in 2018 include Basel, Bologna, Porto, Turin, Zadar and Zagreb with Cluj-Napoca, Genoa, Lamezia Terme, Malaga, Palermo and Verona set to launch soon,” the report says.

Greece’s capital also benefits from Scoots operations to and from Singapore, which launched last year. These are the airport’s longest routes, beating transatlantic connections to Toronto, Philadelphia, New York and Montreal.

By adding 12 new routes from Athens, Ryanair will set a new record. The new connections are to Billund, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Heraklion, Karlsruhe/Baden -Baden, Krakow, Lappeenranta, Lodz, Memmingen, Rzeszow, Vilnius and Wroclaw.

With adding 12 new routes, Ryanair will reach new record connections with Athens Airport — Nikos Stamos / Shutterstock Athens Airport increased operation by 70 per cent in 4 years
Ryanair is launching 12 new routes from Athens — Nikos Stamos / Shutterstock

Wizz Air will return to Athens after 10 years. In 2014 it had connections from Katowice and Budapest, but now the carrier will now operate routes to Bucharest, Chisinau, Cluj-Napoca, Kutaisi, London LTN, Sofia and Vilnius.

Launching flights from Bremen and Nuremberg, Germania was another airline that entered the market in 2017.

Cyprus Airways (from Larnaka), Primera Air (from Aalborg, Billund and Copenhagen) and Flynas, which is set to begin services from Riyadh, have announced new operations at Athens as well. EasyJet will start a route to Basel on 1 August, while Sky Express is to add two new domestic routes in mid-July.