ECONOMY

Athens Airport cuts its landing and parking charges

Athens International Airport (AIA), operator of the Eleftherios Venizelos airport at Spata, yesterday announced a 15- to 23-percent cut in landing and parking charges for all aircraft, the second such reduction this year as part of a strategy to halt declining traffic. AIA said the revised charges are expected to contribute to the reduction of the airlines’ direct operating costs while also enhancing the airport’s competitiveness. The airport operator trimmed its charges by 5 to 60 percent in October in response to a crisis in the aviation industry following the events of September 11. Airlines and tour operators, however, complained that the reductions were not sufficient to help them ride out the crisis. AIA’s decision to bring down charges came after the Transport and Communications Ministry agreed to allocate a higher proportion of the spatosima to the airport operator. AIA will receive 90 percent of the tax imposed on departing passengers, up from the current 75 percent, for a year, effective January 1, 2002. The remaining 10 percent will go to the Civil Aviation Authority. The airport operator announced yesterday that landing and parking charges for aircraft over 55 tons will be reduced by 15 percent, and by 23 percent for those under 55 tons, at the beginning of the new year. It will also offer additional reductions for planes servicing low-traffic international routes and waive passenger-terminal facility charges for domestic destinations. AIA said the measures targeted at smaller aircraft and poorly trafficked routes will strengthen Athens’s ambitions of becoming a regional hub for Southeastern Europe.