BUSINESS

Fraport gears up for busier airports

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Privatizations, Transport

Fraport Greece, the local subsidiary of the German transport firm that is due to take over the management of 14 regional airports from the start of next year, is in advanced talks with foreign airline companies and tour operators in a bid to ensure that there will be an increase in passenger traffic from next year.

Sources in the international transport industry said that Fraport Greece was one of the most active companies at the 139th IATA Slot Conference, which was held in Atlanta, USA.

The gathering is held twice a year and its latest edition finished just a few days ago. It brings together all the representatives of airports, airlines and national air-traffic agencies in order for them to negotiate what slots the airlines will get at the airports they fly to and from. The recent conference covered the allocation of slots for next summer.

There are airlines that are willing to invest in Greece so they can profit from the increase in the flow of tourists to the country. This is underlined by the fact that a large number of airlines are preparing to increase significantly the number of flights to the 14 regional airports that will be managed by Fraport Greece.

The first appearance by representatives from Fraport Greece at the IATA conference drew a high level of attention, according to sources who took part in the event. Plans to overhaul the 14 airports, the steady improvement of the services available to passengers and the ability to support traffic to specific destinations through a series of actions were the subject of extensive presentations to dozens of airlines and tour operators.

The results of these exchanges in Atlanta are due to become visible in the near future as the airlines are set to announce their plans for the destinations they will fly to next season. A number of foreign airlines have shown a particular interest in Thessaloniki as a destination.

Fraport Greece’s biggest challenge is not just to increase passenger numbers but also to extend the tourism season. The latter will not be down just to the company’s actions or investment efforts.

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