Enhancing the connectivity of our city and our country is one of the key strategic goals of Athens International Airport. This practically means showcasing – and indeed proving – the potential and the dynamics of the Athens’ market in order to attract new airlines and encourage existing and new operating carriers to increase direct connections and add routes and frequencies to their Athens’ network.
This is a multi-year process which requires market and demand analysis, data-driven studies, and strong negotiation skills, but, above all, it requires synergies, strategic alignment, and close cooperation of all stakeholders.
The most recent example is that of the direct connection between Athens and Boston that commenced at the end of May. It took almost four years of hard work to achieve this goal amidst an extremely challenging environment, and it was the outcome of a coordinated and targeted effort that finally came into fruition.
Obviously, factors such as the “clouds” in the global economic outlook, geopolitics, as well as extraordinary and critical conditions such as the pandemic, heavily impact connectivity, and the opening up of new markets. It will take time before aviation and tourism markets like China, Russia or the Ukraine will come back. Additionally, individual airlines’ strategies, availability of aircraft and personnel are key to the respective airlines’ decisions.
Last but not least: the attractiveness and resilience of the destination is the sound basis on which all efforts are being built. Having acknowledged the importance of this characteristic at a rather early stage, Athens International Airport forms an integral part of the strategic alliance with the City of Athens, Aegean Airlines, Marketing Greece and a number of highly important tourism and aviation stakeholders, aiming at continuously promoting Athens and contributing to the enhancement of its attractiveness as a year-round, business, leisure and city break destination.
Athens International Airport S.A. CEO
Yiannis N. Paraschis