Key Tourism Figures 2018: George Vilos, Executive Director Commercial & Business Development Fraport Greece
Our commitment to our passengers, partners and stakeholders remains the same… to continue working hard in order to modernize and expand the 14 gateways to our country…
This year is marked by large-scale construction works at all 14 Greek airports managed by Fraport Greece (FG). Having undertaken the enormous challenge to transform the 14 airports in order to upgrade and enhance the traveling experience, FG has commenced the construction works for 5 brand-new terminals in Thessaloniki, Corfu, Kefalonia, Kos, and Mytilini (Lesvos) – as well as major revamp works at all other airports. Airports at Aktion, Skiathos, Mykonos, Samos and Santorini will be expanded and refurbished, while the Kavala, Zakynthos, Rhodes and Chania airports will be internally remodeled becoming more traveler friendly and efficient. This construction phase will last three years and is expected to be gradually completed by 2021, with the airports of Chania, Zakynthos and Kavala being the first ones that will be delivered in the beginning of 2019.
On the traffic side, during the first eight months of 2018, all 14 FG airports posted robust growth driven by the international traffic. More specifically, from January to August, FG welcomed 21.4 million passengers, exceeding prior-year levels by a significant 9%, attributed to the sharp increase of the international sector by 12%.
Taking into account the particularly ascending course of Greek tourism, as well as the demanding 2018 peak summer season, FG successfully handled the following three big challenges:
- Accommodate the maximum number of airlines’ new/additional slot requests through the most efficient and extended utilization of the existing infrastructure. Towards this objective, FG has undertaken a series of actions such as: extending the airports’ operating hours, re-organising the airside & land side operational concepts and cooperating closely and effectively with airlines & Hellenic Slot Coordination Authority so as to support increased demand for the 14 airports and at the same time country’s major tourist destinations.
- Manage the ongoing construction works so as interfere the minimum possible with airports’ daily operations by taking all precautions and measures in order to ensure safe operations, less congestion and improved services and facilities for the passengers.
- Enhance significantly the traveling experience amid the current construction phase by developing new Retail and F&B Units that contributed to the passengers’ satisfaction during their stay at FG airports
Fraport Greece proceeded with the introduction of a "Winter Incentive Program", encouraging the launch of new international routes out of the 14 airports during the weak winter months, while ensuring year-round coverage of the new services.
Focusing on this year’s dynamics, FG has continued to work systematically towards the attainment of the major business objective, namely the attraction of additional traffic through the extension of airlines’ operating season, supporting at the same time destinations’ tourist season extension. More specifically, FG proceeded with the introduction of a “Winter Incentive Program”, encouraging the launch of new international routes out of the 14 airports during the weak winter months, while ensuring year-round coverage of the new services.
Moreover, during the last year, FG has initiated, supported and promoted synergies with local authorities and other stakeholders, aiming at achieving better utilization of the available resources and more effective promotion of the served destinations. Although still at an early stage, the positive results deriving from these partnerships are evident, encouraging us to boost these efforts.
In addition, aiming at acquiring insight about passengers’ profile, traveling behavior, customer satisfaction & measuring operational features and performance of offered services at the airports, FG proceeded -since the beginning of the Summer 2018 season- with the launch of a big-scale Market Research Project at all 14 airports. The specific project represents a significant investment from our side, expected to enlighten a wide range of business and operational fields and support the core targets of traffic development and passenger experience upgrade.
Finally yet importantly, our commitment to our passengers, partners and stakeholders remains the same, i.e. to continue working hard in order to modernize and expand the 14 gateways to our country, upgrading this way the attraction of the served destinations that welcome millions of visitors every year from all around the world.