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Athens International Airport gains rise March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Transport Air Sea Land.
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Athens International Airport, Greece’s busiest, said pretax profit surged 33 percent last year as its terminals handled record traffic.

Pretax profit rose to 125.7 million euros from 94.6 million euros a year earlier, the company said in a faxed statement today.

Passenger numbers rose 10 percent to 16.5 million travelers as airlines added flights and more people took vacations in Greece.

The airport, majority-owned by the Greek state and managed by German construction company Hochtief AG, may sell shares to the public under a government asset-disposal plan.

AIA passenger total up 10% to 16.5 million February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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Athens International Airport said yesterday the number of people using Greece’s largest airport rose 10 percent last year to a record 16.5 million as airlines added flights and more Eastern Europeans vacationed in the country.

The number of flights increased 8 percent to more than 200,000, the company said in a statement today. Fifteen new airlines began using the airport, including Air China Ltd, Continental Airlines Inc and Aer Lingus Group Plc.

The number of Eastern Europeans using the airport, which is operated by German builder Hochtief AG, rose 23 percent, as did the number of North Americans. Flights from low-cost carriers also contributed to an 18 percent increase in the tourist total to 2.3 million, the airport company said.

Athens is offering discounts to airlines to attract more customers as the Greek government prepares to sell a stake. Greece owns 55 percent of the airport, while Hochtief owns 26 percent and manages 14 percent. The pair said three years ago they’d rework the concession contract to prepare for a sale.

Ten destinations were added last year, taking the total to 116 in 50 countries. The number of international passengers to Western European locations, the airport’s biggest market, rose 7.7 percent as Aegean Airlines, the second-biggest Greek carrier, and discount airlines added routes.

Record number of US visitors for Greece in 2007 February 4, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.
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US tourist arrivals to Greece hit a record number last year, according to data provided by the Athens International Airport (AIA), collated in a quantitative and qualitative survey on the profile of American tourists.

Arrivals from the US for any reason recorded an increase of 34 percent compared to 2006, while the number of US vacationers arriving at Athens Airport rose by 13.5 percent.

The US market – along with those of Germany, Britain and Italy – is among the most profitable for Greece’s tourism sector, in terms of either number of arrivals or foreign exchange income. The impressive rise in tourist numbers from the US started in 2005 and continued for the next two years.

Unlike other traditional tourism markets which were not greatly influenced by the Olympics, the Athens 2004 Games made a major contribution to the increase in the number of arrivals from the US.

In addition to the overall promotion of Greece during the 2004 Games, safety concerns were also allayed. Feelings of security are taken into serious consideration primarily by US visitors when choosing a holiday destination.

In addition, an important contribution to rising arrivals has been the considerable funds spent on advertising Greece as a tourist destination in the US market, as well as the country’s upgraded participation in international fairs and exhibitions.

As for 2008, concerns about tourism are focused on the rising appreciation of the euro against the US dollar. This, naturally, is an issue faced by all European destinations, as it intensifies competition amid efforts to claim larger shares from the US tourism market.

In contrast, Greece’s closest competitor, Turkey, has no reason to worry about currency considerations. Security seems to be the greatest problem US visitors face in that country. However, such a development necessitates the launch of an intensive advertising campaign in the US also this year in order to maintain the rising numbers of US visitors to Greece.

Arrivals of US visitors to Greece in 2006 recorded an increase of approximately 400 percent compared to 2005. In 2007, 416,381 arrivals via direct flights were recorded from the US, against 319,146 one year previously.

The survey carried out by AIA on the US market shows that 435,490 Americans who arrived at Athens Airport in 2007 stated they were coming to Greece for a vacation, compared to 383,890 in 2006.

AIA communication and marketing director Giorgos Karamanos says an increase in air transport capacity – with new airlines connecting Athens with US cities – has helped the continuing rise in US arrivals.

Last summer, 79 percent of US visitors said they had come to Greece for a vacation (76 percent in 2006), 11 percent said they came to visit relatives and friends (13 percent in 2006) and 10 percent reported that they were on a business trip (11 percent in 2006).

Their stay in Greece increased by one day, to 16, of which six were spent in Athens. Most US visitors held a college degree, while the average amount spent by Americans in Greece was much higher than any other foreign visitor group. Their numbers were evenly split between men and women.

The vast majority of tourists from the US stated as their place of residence New York, followed by Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and Philadelphia.

Athens airport is “too noisy” October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment, Transport Air Sea Land.
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People living near Athens International Airport (AIA) are right to complain about noise pollution, as authorities are not doing enough to limit the noise from the airplanes taking off and landing there, according to the Greek Ombudsman.

The watchdog published a report yesterday following a series of complaints from locals following the opening of the airport in March 2001. According to the independent body’s research, the main problem stems from a fault with the design and construction of the airport’s runways.

The Ombudsman also underlined that there has been an increase in people living in the area in the last six years and more measures are needed to protect residents from airplane noise.

The AIA has placed 10 monitoring stations around the airport and was given the all clear with regard to noise levels in 2005 by a team of inspectors from the Environment and Public Works Ministry.