NEWS

Airport copes well with rush

Athens airport officials succeeded in smoothly handling an all-time traffic record as tens of thousands of athletes, officials and visitors to the Olympic Games boarded homeward flights yesterday. A total of 882 passenger aircraft, carrying some 75,000 people, touched down at or took off from the three-and-a-half-year-old airport, with traffic peaking between 1-2 p.m. when air traffic controllers had to deal with 56 flights. But no delays were reported. Olympic athletes and Games-related officials – who accounted for some 10,000 of yesterday’s passengers – had already checked in for their flights at the Olympic Village and the central Athens hotels where most visiting dignitaries were put up. Furthermore, airport officials had warned that only ticket-holders would be allowed into the departure area yesterday and today – when 704 flights are scheduled to take place. Meanwhile, public transport schedules in the capital, which had been considerably extended due to the Olympics, will return to normal tomorrow.