Athens Airport lowers fees, hoping to draw more flights

Athens International Airport (AIA) is making an effort to increase traffic by lowering its charges – currently the highest in Europe – and hosting more flights by the country’s biggest carrier, Aegean Airlines, as well as welcoming the scheduled service of Ukraine’s national carrier.

In a joint press conference with Aegean on Thursday, AIA revealed that it is offering incentives to companies which opt to increase their services to and from Athens this summer. It is offering discounts of up to 100 percent in landing fees, starting from 10 percent for airlines that do not reduce their services. Other incentives concern support to companies offering cheaper fares. AIA estimates that the average drop in fees will amount to 20-30 percent.

The airport’s aim is to rekindle the industry’s interest in the country’s main terminal as traffic has declined considerably over the last few years.

Aegean announced the start of eight new international services from Athens, taking its total to 28 from Eleftherios Venizelos. The new destinations are Manchester, Berlin, Geneva, Lyon, Kiev, Warsaw, Saint Petersburg and Baku. Aegean Vice President Eftichios Vassilakis also expressed optimism that the company’s planned merger with Olympic Air will be approved by Greek and European regulators in the next three months.

Furthermore, Ukraine International Airlines separately announced on Thursday the start of a service linking Athens with Kiev four times per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) from April 1, with a fifth weekly flight on Tuesdays as of June 18.

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