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Fraport Says Greek Airports Investment to Pay Off in the Long Term

Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki, managed by Fraport Greece. Photo by GTP

Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki, managed by Fraport Greece. Photo by GTP

Time is needed for the upgrades at Greece’s 14 regional airports to become apparent, said Alexander Zinell, CEO at Fraport Greece in an interview to German weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

“Unfortunately, it takes time for changes to be noticed, especially when extensive work is needed or even new projects,” said Zinell.

The head of Fraport Greece referred to the improvements made thus far which include rest room, check-in, terminal and control and security areas, and added that a great deal of work still needs to be done as a number of the airports were in complete disrepair.   

Zinell went on to note that Fraport is not discouraged by the fact that the said airports have often come under scrutiny due to their poor condition and services.

“To the contrary, this is more of an incentive for us. Our strong point is to improve a mediocre or even bad airport. When it comes to improving a perfect airport and increasing its profitability, the prospect for added value is limited,” he said.

An impression of the Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki. Photo source: Fraport Greece

An impression of the Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki. Photo source: Fraport Greece

On his part, Fraport Group CEO Stefan Schulte said Greece was an excellent opportunity for the group to apply its knowhow.

Dr. Stefan Schulte, CEO, Fraport AG, Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide

“We’ve seen many airports over the past five years. However, in no project were the challenges so great and at the same time the environment so attractive as in Greece,” Schulte said, adding that “Greece has enormous potential in tourism, the country offers great cultural and natural diversity, people are cordial and hospitable. We are deeply convinced that Greece is ahead of its great future as one of the most important tourist markets in the world.”

For Schulte, the decision to take over the management of Greece’s 14 regional airports “remains 100 percent correct. The additional costs did not surprise us. Due to a series of ongoing investments we expect losses this and next year. But the results are already better than expected, so there could be a profit in 2020”, he concluded.

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