WORLD ROUTES: Athens Leads the Way in European Airport Growth

This year has seen the resurgence of Athens as an established international destination which has been measured in the significant increase in capacity being offered by airlines, particularly outside of Europe with the US, Middle East, and Asian markets recording the strongest development.

In a continuation to the strong recovery of the Athens aviation market since the start of the year, during the summer period Athens International Airport is recording increased volumes, a strong indication that traffic will remain on a positive track and provide an optimistic outlook for the upcoming winter period.

This year has seen the resurgence of Athens as an established international destination which has been measured in the significant increase in capacity being offered by airlines, particularly outside of Europe with the US, Middle East, and Asian markets recording the strongest development.

During the summer 2014 period Athens has the strongest growth in passenger traffic, flights, and capacity amongst European airports with more than two million additional seats (up 21 per cent). The Asia region stands out in the numbers with a 70 per cent passenger rise, a 61 per cent growth in seats, a 55 per cent in departures and an average load factor of 86 per cent.

However, the strength of the resurgence of the Athens market is clear as other markets are seeing a strong performance. In North America (Canada and USA) passenger traffic is up 23 per cent, capacity up 26 per cent, departures up 14 per cent and load factors reaching 91 per cent. Meanwhile, in the Middle East passenger traffic is up 25 per cent, capacity up 30 per cent, departures up 20 per cent and load factors reaching 81 per cent.

“Severely tarnished in the recent years, Athens reaffirmed its attractiveness as a destination during this summer period, as clearly shown in the foreign visitors’ strong upward trend (+28 per cent),” Ioanna Papadopoulou, director communications and marketing, Athens International Airport told The HUB during World Routes in Chicago. “A significant development was also the impressive increase in Greek air travellers, reflecting the stabilization of the economy, mostly evident in the period April through August (+17 per cent).