BUSINESS

Fraport promises thousands of jobs at Greek regional airports

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Privatizations, Tourism

The German-Greek investment in 14 regional airports around the country will create more than 20,000 jobs, officials from the Fraport-Copelouzos Group consortium said on Monday at the presentation of its joint venture, Fraport Greece.

The consortium’s subsidiary is a holdings company controlling the two firms that control seven regional airports apiece, as the agreement signed in December with state sell-off fund TAIPED provides for.

The heads of the two parent groups, Dr Stefan Schulte and Dimitris Copelouzos informed reporters about the progress of the agreement’s implementation, with Schulte saying that Fraport is in contact with airlines and tour operators which are interested in bringing more visitors to Greece. That will become possible, Schulte added, when the 14 terminals are upgraded, creating thousands of new jobs, and the airlines obtain the spots they want. The German official stressed that today they cannot do that as delays run to two hours per flight, which is not acceptable in the airline industry.

On the concession agreement, Schulte appeared optimistic that the transaction will be completed by the end of this year. He did note, however, that Fraport cannot undertake the airports before the conditions required are satisfied and sought to play down any reactions and delays recorded ahead of the issue of permits. “Even in Frankfurt, when we needed to create a new terminal, there were delays in the issue of permits. The same also happened in Lima, Peru,” he commented.

In addition, the Fraport chairman played down the possibility of Greece being hurt by further political or economic developments, such as the migration problem or a credit event.

He also noted that the country should be helped by its European Union peers in handling the refugee issue, and stated that after the attacks at Brussels Airport, extra security measures will need to be taken even outside the terminals, warning that whatever measures are taken, they cannot resolve the problem 100 percent.

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