Athens International Airport announced another record-breaking year with a total of 16.5 million passengers in 2007, an impressive 10 percent increase from its 15.1 million passengers in 2006. There was an eight percent increase in the number of flights that for the first time surpassed the 200,000 flights threshold with 205,294 flights in 2007 compared with 190,872 in 2006.
Commenting on the airport’s traffic results, CEO of Athens International Airport, Dr. Yiannis Paraschis, said: “2007 was a very good year for our airport that enjoyed a 10 percent increase in its passenger traffic, well above the 5.6 percent average growth recorded by all the major European airports.”
With the addition of 10 new destinations -Philadelphia, Beijing, Timisoara, Kaliningrad, Jeddah, Riyadh, Riga, Goteborg, Lviv and Mariupol- Athens International Airport offered direct scheduled services to 116 destinations in 50 countries by 70 airlines in 2007.
Athens airport welcomed 15 new airlines last year. These are Aer Lingus, Air Baltic, Air China, Carpatair, Centralwings, Clickair, Continental Airlines, Finnair, Ilyich-Avia, KDavia, Kras Air, MyΑir, Saudi Arabian Airlines, US Airways and Vueling Airlines. This robust development, according to AIA, renders Athens’ airport among the fastest growing European airports. In 2007, the domestic market climbed by nine percent reaching an all-time record with 6 million passengers. International traffic grew significantly by 10 percent for the first time exceeding 10 million passengers.
The international sector enjoyed high levels of increase in all markets. Specifically, Western Europe -the airport’s largest market- enjoyed a 7.7 percent increase mainly driven by additional services offered by Aegean Airlines, Iberia, SAS, and low-cost carriers.
All other international markets achieved double-digit increases. Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region in 2007 with a 23.2 percent increase reaching one million passengers. North America followed closely with 23.1 percent while the Middle East also achieved a double-digit increase of 15.1 percent.
The results of a daily service conducted at the airport shows the number of foreign tourists visiting Athens and the greater region in 2007 rose to 2.3 million, marking a 18 percent increase compared with 2006.
Dr. Paraschis asserted, “Our developmental strategy, combined with the resurgence of Athens and Greece as an attractive tourist destination, led us again to a very positive end-of-year outcome.”
At its eighth annual Airline Marketing Workshop, Athens International Airport presented awards to airlines that contributed to the recorded highest passenger traffic in 2007. The workshop was an opportunity for the airport company and the airlines to exchange views on issues such as the 2007 market overview, modern communication and marketing approaches, aviation and technology, e-travel services and passenger feedback. The awards were presented to the fastest growing airlines for 2007 in the categories of geographical region, thin route, best performing newcomer and the best top ten airlines.
The “Best Performing New Airline Award” was received by SkyEurope for recording the highest passenger traffic numbers in 2007 among all the newcomers that launched scheduled operations in 2006. The “Best of the Top-10 Airlines” award was awarded to EasyJet as the overall fastest growing airline operating at AIA in 2007 among the 10 airlines that recorded the highest passenger traffic volumes. The “Fastest Growing Airline in a Thin Route” award was given to Uzbekistan Airways for achieving the highest percentage annual passenger growth in 2007.
In the “Fastest Growing Airline Per Geographical Region” category, Germanwings received the award for Western Europe, Aeroflot for Eastern Europe, Qatar Airways for the Middle East, Olympic Airlines for America, Thai Airways for Asia, Aegean Airlines for the domestic region and Egypt Air for Africa. Aegean Airlines was also awarded for presenting the highest passenger volume increase at Athens International Airport in 2007.
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