BUSINESS

Significant rise in arrivals at Greek regional airports

ALEXANDRA KASSIMI

TAGS: Economy, Travel, Tourism

The number of arrivals at the 14 regional airports managed by the consortium led by Germany’s Fraport has risen significantly so far this year.

There was a 10.3 percent rise in passenger arrivals in July, while the increase for the first seven months of the year was 14.1 percent. The number of international passengers in July reached 4.1 million compared to 3.7 million last year. The number of arrivals for the year to end-July was 10.6 million, which is 1.3 million higher than that in the same period of 2016.

There were impressive increases in arrivals at Aktio (21.2 percent), Kavala (22.5), Thessaloniki (22.8) and Kos (22.1). The biggest rise, though, was at Lesvos, where passenger numbers skyrocketed by 57 percent.

There were also encouraging signs in the data related to domestic flights, although the increases were much smaller. The number of passengers who flew to the 14 regional airports from other Greek destinations rose by 3.8 percent between January and July. The biggest rises were at Zakynthos (36.5 percent) and Myconos (29.6). However, there were declines in domestic passengers at Aktio, Kavala and Lesvos airports.

Sources say that Fraport encountered significant problems with the statistics from previous years. The Civil Aviation Authority had apparently not properly recorded some movements at the airports in question.

The company has also stepped up cleaning work at the airports, particularly in the southern Aegean, where shortcomings have been evident. At Santorini and Myconos, for example, the terminal buildings are so small that there is no room for cleaners during peak hours. The teams of cleaners have been strengthened so that they can carry out their work outside of peak hours.

After the summer, the majority of the airports will resemble work sites as the task of making improvements begins. The exception will be the airport on Kos, where a completely new terminal will be constructed.

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