NEWS

Holiday exodus smooth

Crammed into ships, planes and cars, tens of thousands of Athenians began fleeing the capital yesterday for the long weekend in what was a relatively smooth exodus. Passenger ferries and aircraft leaving the capital were virtually full to capacity. A total of 533 flights were scheduled to pass through Athens International Airport yesterday with another 471 slated for today and 525 for Monday. Around 240,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport by Tuesday, airport management said. About 300,000 passengers are due to board ferries for the islands – with most heading for the Cyclades, the Port Authority said. Extra staff were on standby at Piraeus and Rafina to help more than 50,000 passengers due to leave the ports. But the notorious Romilda ferry was delayed three hours at Piraeus due to engine failure. The biggest problems were at the border stations of Kristallopigi and Kakavia where traffic jams caused by thousands of Albanian migrants driving home for the holidays stretched up to 6 kilometers, or almost 4 miles.