Thessaloniki’s Makedonia Airport, currently undergoing upgrade works, is set to ‘take off’ in the upcoming tourism season with more airlines requesting landing slots.
Specifically, requests for airport slots for domestic flights have increased by 20 percent compared to a year ago, with those for international arrivals up by 30 percent. Demand has grown due to airlines including Macedonia Airport for the first time in their flight schedules or by companies adding new flights to the destination.
Meanwhile, foundations for the airport’s passenger terminal are expected to be in place in September.
“Thessaloniki’s airport is showing significant momentum with great demand for slots, especially for flights abroad, which ensure an airport’s interconnectivity, and consequently, its development,” said George Vilos, executive director of Commercial & Business Development for Fraport Greece, the airport’s managing company.
A case in point, Qatar Airways which carried its first direct flight between Doha and Thessaloniki this week. Qatar’s addition is expected to boost seats by 36,000 for those traveling through Makedonia Airport during the summer.
Flydubai is also a new addition to the airport, while UK low-cost εταιρεία Jet2 is set to add new flights out of Thessaloniki to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. Mouzenidis Group airline Ellinair is boosting its flights to Russian cities, and Transavia is increasing its connections to Amsterdam.
Greek carrier Aegean is also adding new flights from Thessaloniki to Germany, Cyprus and Israel, extending its seats by 140,000.
At the same time, the number of domestic seats is also set to grow with Sky Express and Ellinair launching new flights while Aegean boosting flights from Thessaloniki to Rhodes, Santorini, Chania, Crete and Athens.
Meanwhile, the main runway at Thessaloniki’s Makedonia Airport returned to operation earlier this month handling all flights following the completion of planned maintenance works there.
The airport is one of 14 managed by Fraport Greece. The German operator expects to open four of the airports under its management, including Macedonia, in 2020 and the remaining three in 2021. Greece operations boosted parent company Fraport Group’s revenue by 234.9 million euros, the company said in its year-end financial results.