NEWS

In Brief

RECORD ARRIVALS

Athens airport handles 795 flights Athens International Airport handled a record number of 795 flights yesterday with a record 32,496 passengers arriving for the launch of the Olympic Games. According to airport officials, flight frequency was about one every minute during the «peak» period of 4-5 p.m. Yesterday’s record 795 flights is a 17 percent increase on the previous record of 676 flights on August 31, 2001. A total of 839 flights had originally been scheduled to pass through the airport yesterday. Aegean violations Two formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday twice violated the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and national air space in the northern Aegean shortly after 12.30 p.m., military sources said. The Turkish jets immediately retreated after Greek jets arrived at the scene, the same sources said. Earlier this month, the Foreign Ministry lodged an official complaint after Turkish F-16s flew over the island of Lemnos, an unusually serious violation. Ticket profiteering A Briton and a Frenchman were arrested in the Korai Street pedestrianized area in central Athens yesterday for selling tickets for the Olympics on the black market, police said. The Briton was caught selling two tickets for yesterday’s opening ceremony for 1,000 euros – 50 euros above the official price of the ticket, and the Frenchman had been trying to sell two 30-euro tickets at 100 euros apiece, according to police. Russians arrested Two Russian journalists were yesterday caught attempting to take video footage on the site of the Tatoi military air base, north of Athens, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said. The two unidentified Russians, who had reportedly tried to film Patriot air defence missiles located at the site, were later released, according to police. Relay death A 47-year-old Chinese television journalist collapsed and died yesterday morning while filming the progress of the Olympic Flame through central Athens. Zeng Li was taken to Evangelismos Hospital after collapsing at the junction of Halkokondyli and Patission streets. He apparently died of a heart attack although there was no official confirmation of the cause of his death yesterday. Armed robbery A group of five or six armed robbers made off with two safes containing around 10,000 euros in cash and an unspecified number of checks after breaking into a dairy manufacturer’s near Iraklion in the early hours of yesterday morning, police on Crete said. The unidentified robbers took the safes using a crane, which they had also stolen, according to police. There did not appear to have been any staff at the site. Emergency landings An Iran Air Airbus with 119 passengers on board made two successive emergency landings in Athens and Rome on Thursday due to engine problems, Agence France-Presse quoted Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency as saying yesterday. No one was hurt, AFP reported.