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Destination Athens: positive developments and prospects

Athens achieves the top position in growth, amongst European airports.

Athens International Airport presented the positive developments in the Athens aviation market since the beginning of the year and the prospects in view of the winter period, in the context of a significant increase of the city’s network and connectivity.

Moreover, AIA presented one more, special new initiative focusing on “destination Athens”, which allows passengers and city visitors to voice their opinion on the issue of the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece.


  • Airlines invest in the Athens market, with optimistic messages for the winter period 2014-15. Following the spectacular traffic recovery in the first 9 months of the year, highlighted by
    – Traffic up by 19.4%
    – 2 million additional passengers
    – 168 new weekly international flights
    – 28% increase of the city’s foreign visitors and double-digit growth of almost all international geographical regions,

the messages for the winter period 2014-15 are equally positive, with the Athens network significantly reinforced, adding 107 new international weekly and 85 domestic flights.

It is worth noting that 15% of the Athens traffic is served by 16 LCCs, covering a network of 40 destinations.

  • Athens marks the top position in growth amongst European airports – Significant increase in the Athens connectivity and transfer traffic.

With 2 million (+16%) additional seats since the beginning of the year, the Athens airport gained the top position amongst all European airports in passenger traffic, flights and capacity increase, with M. East, N. American and Asian carriers marking impressive double-digit traffic increases.

In total, in 2014, with 15 new destinations and additional flights in 33 served destinations, the Athens International Airport offers a network of 108 destinations, with significantly increased connectivity. Supported by the airport’s developmental and targeted incentives and -mainly- by Aegean’s network development, transfer traffic grew considerably; from January to September 2014, total transfer traffic climbed at a +14.8% on a year-to-year basis, representing 22% of the airport’s total traffic and international-to-international transfer traffic recorded a significant 61% increase. In addition, domestic-to-international transfer traffic (76% of total transfer) climbed by 12.5%.

The airport’s active support “destination Athens” continues: Passengers and visitors are given the floor to express their opinion.

The resurgence of Athens as a destination is clearly reflected in the foreign visitors’ strong upward trend (+28%) during the first 9 months of the year, as well as in the dynamic recovery of the city-break passengers (+23% compared to the previous year).

As Athens “turns a new page”, AIA, following a series of airport targeted actions and programmes for the support and enhancement of the city’s attractiveness, will soon launch a new initiative, this time inviting airport passengers and visitors to “vote”.

Starting November 19th, by using a new application installed in special terminal screens, passengers, after completing in just 2 moves a simple puzzle “assembling” Parthenon’s West Metope and placing the Sixth Caryatis back to its original place, will be able to interactively express their opinion on the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.