By the end of this September, the Athens International Airport at Spata becomes a reality. “This airport, Europe’s best,” said Dr. Jorg Schill, chief executive officer for Athens International Airport, during a presentation of construction completed, “will be completed (in September) many months ahead of schedule. It’s official opening takes place in March after every aspect of the airport and its systems have been fully tested.”
Dr. Schill, during the presentation to the some 100 Greek travel agents and guests, which was expertly organized by Maersk Air, added that the new state-of-the-art airport “is no more than what Greece deserves as an ideal tourism destination.”
The airport’s chief business development officer, Dr. Yiannis Paraschis, explained that the new airport is to be the only one in the world he knows of that checks 100% of all baggage, and in record time. This, he said, would greatly improve Greece’s safety image.
According to the two executives, the new airport will be the cleanest and most secure in Europe. They also promised that all customers to the airport’s barrage of stores would get super service.
Direct and indirect jobs to be created once the airport is fully operational will exceed 25,000.
One of the first airlines to commit to usage of the airport is Maersk Air of Denmark. Keld Christensen, the airline’s director of scheduled services, told his guests that the airline carried some 42,000 passengers between Athens and Scandinavia since it first began scheduled flights to here last March. He reminded, however, that the airline’s charter services division is no stranger to Greece as it has been flying here with Scandinavian passengers for years.
The Maersk Air Group of companies runs scheduled and charter services within Europe and is a member of the A.P. Moller group. It owns a fleet of 30 aircraft and boasts one of the youngest fleets in Europe. Maersk flies to 17 destinations in 13 countries.
Maersk Air’s general sales agent in Greece, John Platanias of APG Hellas, said the choice to hold the firs-year anniversary of Maersk scheduled flights to Athens at the new airport was an easy one. “We wanted to share with our clients, travel agents and tour operators the opportunity to visit the nearly-completed airport,” he said. “Their response to our invitation was overwhelming.”