Athens International Airport
|Owner/Operator||Athens International Airport S.A.|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||308 ft / 94 m|
Sources: AIA Statistics
Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (Greek: « », Diethnís Aeroliménas Athinón "Elefthérios Venizélos"), commonly initialised as AIA (IATA: ATH, ICAO: LGAV), is the largest international airport in Greece, serving the city of Athens and region of Attica. It began operation on 28 March 2001 (in time for the 2004 Summer Olympics) and is the main base of Aegean Airlines, as well as other smaller Greek airlines. It is located near the old Ellinikon International Airport.  Athens International is currently a member of Group 2 of Airports Council International (1025 million); as of 2018, it is the 27th-busiest airport in Europe.
AIA is located between the towns of Markopoulo, Koropi, Spata and Loutsa, about 20 km (12 mi) to the east of central Athens (30 km (19 mi) by road, due to intervening hills). The airport is named after Elefthérios Venizélos, the prominent Cretan political figure and Prime Minister of Greece, who made a significant contribution to the development of Greek aviation and the Hellenic Air Force in the 1930s. As to-date, the airport is operated by AIA S.A. and ownership is divided between the Hellenic Republic (Greek State) and Private Sector in a 55%-45% stake following a PPP scheme for the airport company. Currently, private investors include the Copelouzos Group (5%) and PSP Investments of Canada (40%), following purchase of Hochtief's shares.
The airport was constructed to replace the now-closed Athens (Ellinikon) International Airport, as the latter had reached its saturation point with no physical space for further growth. Studies for a new airport had been carried out from as early as the 1970s, with as many as 19 different locations being looked at before an area close to the town of Spata was chosen as suitable. Athens Airport SA, a state-owned company, was established in 1978 to proceed with the plans. However, after delays and slow development, the project was revived in 1991 with the then government launching an international tender for the selection of a build-own-operate-transfer partner for the airport project, with Hochtief of Germany being selected.
In 1996, Athens International Airport S.A. (AIA) was established as a Publicprivate partnership with a 30-year concession agreement. That same year, the 2.1 billion development finally began with an estimated completion date of February 2001. The airport construction was completed five months before schedule, but was delayed opening a month due to surface connections to Attiki Odos not being completed. The airport officially opened on 28 March 2001.
Its major features include two parallel runways being 4 km (2.5 mi) and 3.8 km (2.4 mi) long respectively. The airport has received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration for take-offs and landings of the biggest passenger jet worldwide, the A380. The first ever A380 to visit 'Eleftherios Venizelos' Athens International Airport made an emergency landing on 13 April 2011 for emergency medical reasons. The first scheduled A380 flight took place on 26 October 2012 by Emirates.
The Greek government-debt crisis reduced the overall passenger traffic of the airport for six consecutive years. Many long-haul airlines outright terminated service to the airport, while others chose to operate on a seasonal basis only, opting to terminate service during the winter months. Moreover, these problems were further exacerbated by the closure of Olympic Airlines, which operated many long-haul flights to and from the airport. In 2013, the airport handled just above 12.5 million passengers, 3.2% fewer than in 2012 and lower by approximately 25% when compared to 2007's traffic, which was the all-time-high at that time.
2014 signaled a strong recovery for the airport's passenger traffic and all statistical figures. More than ten new airlines started new flights to and from Athens. Aegean Airlines strengthened its network by 30% (with many more destinations scheduled for 2015) while Ryanair established a new base in the Athens Airport and added eight destinations. The airport company recorded an increase in passenger traffic in excess of 21% during 2014, reaching 15.1 million passengers, resulted both by new destinations but also by increased capacity offered on established ones. Characteristically, Singapore and Gulf Air resumed flights while Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways fly more frequently to/from Athens. Delta Air Line resumed their weekly flights and American Airlines retained their seasonal schedules to/from USA with even more frequent connectivity. From 2017 onwards, year-round services to Singapore are going to resume after more than five years. Flights are going to be operated by Scoot.
According to AIA published statistics, total traffic for 2015 achieved an impressive performance reaching almost 18.1 million passengers, an all-time-record for the airport at that time, increased by 19% on year-over-year basis and by 1.55 million (+9.4%) the previous best, which was the pre-crisis year 2007. In addition, over the same period, aircraft traffic exhibited a solid growth of 14% year-over-year. Moreover, in 2015 a significant rise (+38%) was recorded by transfer passengers, with the international to international transfer traffic marking an impressive increase (+60%) demonstrating the significant enhancement of the Athens airport connectivity.
2016 was a landmark year for the Athens International Airport, both for domestic and international destinations. Annual results reflected a solid performance for a third year in a row fueled by double-digit growth, this time passing the twenty million mark, increased by 10.7% on year-over-year basis. Healthy growth continued in 2017 with the airport showing traffic increase of 8.6% to a total of 21.7 million passengers, yet another all-time record for the Athens airport. During 2018, the airport achieved yet another record high, reporting increased passenger traffic by 11% to more than 24.1 million passengers. Equally, aircraft traffic achieved a new record with a reported annual growth of 10.8% to 217,094 movements.
For the first three quarters of 2019, the airport traffic shows signs of further increase with passenger numbers up by 6.5% to 19.97 million passengers and aircraft movements up by 3.2%.
The airport currently has two terminals, the main terminal and the satellite terminal accessible by an underground link from the main terminal. It is designed to be extended in a modular approach over the ensuing years in order to accommodate increases in air travel. These extensions are planned in a six-phase framework. The first (and current) phase allowed the airport to accommodate 26 million passengers per year. When the airport originally opened, the current phase called for a capacity of only 16 million passengers per year; however, the capacity was able to increase without progressing to the next phase thanks to advanced IT logistics. The sixth and final expansion phase will allow the airport to accommodate an annual traffic of 50 million passengers, with the current layout leaving enough space for five more terminals to be added. As such, the parallel runway system currently in place has been designed to accommodate flight traffic with this high equivalent annual passenger load upon completion of the final expansion phase.
The main terminal building handles all intra-Schengen flights, as well as several non-Schengen flights. All of the airport's 144 check-in desks are located in the Main Terminal and it has three separate levels, one for arrivals, one for departures and a food court level complete with a view of the eastern runway. Finally, the terminal is equipped with fourteen jet bridges and eleven belt conveyors for luggage.
In March 2018, the Athens International Airport issued a tender for its first physical expansion, concerning the south wings of the main terminal. The tender called for a building expansion with a total area of approximately 14,950 square meters over five levels (levels 0 to 4). The construction company to build the expansion has been awarded in summer 2018 and the project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2019. It will add 18 more counter check-in decks as well as additional space for arrivals, departures, security and automated control gates, it will also add expanded shopping area and new lounges by mid-2020.
The satellite terminal has two levels, one for arrivals and the other for departures. It is easily accessible through an underground link complete with moving walkways. The terminal is equipped with ten jet bridges and is capable of handling annual traffic of six million passengers.
In recent years its parking stands were utilized for long term storage of airliners, specifically two ex-Olympic Airways Airbus A340-300s (both aircraft were transferred to its new owner in February 2017) and a Boeing 767-300ER of defunct Greek start-up carrier SkyGreece Airlines. However, as of June 2017, the parking space of the satellite terminal is in full use for both Schengen and non-Schengen area flights and to accommodate increased traffic. From June 2017 some low-cost carriers were using it. On 24 May 2018, the Satellite Terminal officially restarted full operations. The airlines using it are Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling, Eurowings, Norwegian, Transavia and Transavia France, TUIfly Belgium, Brussels Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air Transat and Scoot.
|Aegean Airlines|| Alexandroupoli, AmmanQueen Alia, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Beirut, Belgrade, BerlinTegel, Bologna, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Cairo, Chania, Copenhagen, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamburg, Helsinki, Heraklion, Ioannina, Istanbul, zmir, Jeddah, KievBoryspil, Kos, Larnaca, Lisbon, LondonHeathrow, Madrid, Marrakesh, MilanMalpensa, MoscowDomodedovo, Munich, Mykonos, Mytilene, Naples, ParisCharles de Gaulle, Prague, Rhodes, RomeFiumicino, Santorini, Skopje, Sofia, StockholmArlanda, Stuttgart, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Venice, Vienna, WarsawChopin, Yerevan, Zagreb, Zurich |
Seasonal: AlexandriaBorg El Arab, Bari, Bilbao (begins 5 June 2020), Birmingham (resumes 2 June 2020), Bordeaux, Casablanca, Catania, Dublin, Edinburgh, Hanover, Ibiza, Kraków, Lille, LondonGatwick, Luxembourg, Lyon, Málaga, Malta, Manchester, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Nuremberg (begins 13 May 2020), Palermo, Pisa, Podgorica, Porto, Riyadh, Saint Petersburg, Sarajevo, Skiathos, Split, Strasbourg, Tallinn, Toulouse, Tunis, Valencia, Verona
|Aer Lingus||Seasonal: Dublin|
|Air Canada Rouge||Seasonal: MontréalTrudeau, TorontoPearson|
|Air Europa||Seasonal: Madrid|
|Air France|| ParisCharles de Gaulle|
Seasonal: Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse
|Air Transat||Seasonal: MontréalTrudeau, TorontoPearson|
Seasonal: Tel Aviv
|American Airlines||Seasonal: ChicagoO'Hare, Philadelphia|
|ASL Airlines France||Seasonal charter: Lyon, Nantes, ParisCharles de Gaulle, Toulouse|
|Aviolet||Seasonal charter: Banja Luka|
|Blue Air||Larnaca, Bacu (begins 18 June 2020)|
|Brussels Airlines||Seasonal: Brussels|
|Croatia Airlines||Seasonal: Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb|
|Cyprus Airways|| Larnaca, Paphos |
Seasonal: Tel Aviv (begins 18 June 2020)
|Delta Air Lines||Seasonal: New YorkJFK|
|easyJet|| BerlinTegel, Bristol, Edinburgh, LondonGatwick, Manchester, Naples |
Seasonal: BerlinSchönefeld, MilanMalpensa, ParisOrly
|easyJet Switzerland|| Basel/Mulhouse |
|EgyptAir|| Cairo |
Seasonal: AlexandriaBorg El Arab
|El Al||Tel Aviv|
|Enter Air||Seasonal charter: WarsawChopin|
|Ethiopian Airlines||Addis Ababa, MoscowDomodedovo|
|Etihad Airways||Abu Dhabi|
|Eurowings|| Düsseldorf, Stuttgart |
|Israir Airlines||Seasonal: Tel Aviv|
|Korean Air||Seasonal charter: SeoulIncheon|
|Middle East Airlines||Beirut|
|Norwegian Air Shuttle||Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki, New YorkJFK, OsloGardermoen, StockholmArlanda|
|Olympic Air|| Alexandroupoli, Chios, Corfu, Ikaria, Ioannina, Karpathos, Kavala, Kephalonia, Kos, Kythira, Lemnos, Leros, Milos, Mykonos, Mytilene, Naxos, Paphos, Paros, Samos, Sitia, Skiathos, Skyros, Zakynthos |
|Oman Air||Seasonal: Muscat|
|Pegasus Airlines||IstanbulSabiha Gökçen|
|Royal Air Maroc||Casablanca|
|Royal Jordanian||AmmanQueen Alia|
|Ryanair|| Barcelona, Bergamo, BerlinSchönefeld, Bologna, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Catania, Charleroi, Chania (resumes 30 March 2020), Dublin, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Katowice, KievBoryspil, Kraków, LondonLuton, LondonStansted, Madrid, Malta, Marrakesh, Nuremberg, Palermo, RomeCiampino, Sofia, Tel Aviv, Toulouse (begins 4 April 2020), WarsawModlin |
Seasonal: Aqaba, Billund, Gdask, Gyumri (begins 12 May 2020) ,Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Lappeenranta, ód, Memmingen, Pozna, Rzeszów, Santorini, Vilnius, Wrocaw
|Saudia|| Jeddah |
Seasonal: Riyadh (resumes 8 June 2020)
|Scandinavian Airlines|| Copenhagen, StockholmArlanda |
Seasonal: Gothenburg, OsloGardermoen
|Sky Express|| Alexandroupoli, Astypalaia, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Heraklion, Ikaria, Ioannina, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kastoria, Kephalonia, Kithira, Kos, Kozani, Lemnos, Milos, Mytilene, Naxos, Paros, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Syros, Zakynthos |
|Smartwings Poland||Seasonal charter: WarsawChopin|
|Swiss International Air Lines||Geneva, Zurich|
|Transavia France|| ParisOrly |
Seasonal: Lyon, Montpellier (begins 4 April 2020), Nantes
|TUIfly Belgium|| Seasonal: Brussels |
Seasonal charter: ParisCharles de Gaulle, Strasbourg
|Ukraine International Airlines||KievBoryspil|
|United Airlines||Seasonal: Newark|
|Volotea|| Heraklion, Rhodes, Santorini, Venice, Verona |
Seasonal: Bari, Cagliari (begins 29 May 2020), Dubrovnik, Genoa, Lyon (begins 18 April 2020), Marseille (begins 15 April 2020), Mykonos, Split (begins 19 April 2020), Strasbourg
|Wizz Air|| Budapest, Kutaisi, KievZhuliany, LondonLuton, Vienna |
Seasonal: Chiinu, Cluj-Napoca, Katowice, Vilnius
The table below shows passenger totals at Athens International Airport by country destination during 2018. 
|Rank||Country destination||Passengers||Change %|
|1||London||LHR, LGW, STN||1,264,641||Aegean Airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair|
|2||Larnaca||LCA||1,099,142||Aegean Airlines, Blue Air,|
|3||Rome||FCO, CIA||808,041||Aegean Airlines, Alitalia, Ryanair, Vueling|
|4||Istanbul||IST, SAW||786,072||Aegean Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines|
|5||Paris||CDG, ORY||777,555||Aegean Airlines, Air France, easyJet, Transavia France|
|6||Frankfurt||FRA||631,852||Aegean Airlines, Lufthansa|
|7||Milan||MXP, BGY||485,622||Aegean Airlines, easyJet, Ryanair|
|8||Zurich||ZRH||478,652||Aegean Airlines, Swiss Air Lines|
|9||Munich||MUC||477,311||Aegean Airlines, Air China, Lufthansa|
|10||Amsterdam||AMS||473,413||Aegean Airlines, KLM, Transavia|
|1||Tel Aviv||TLV||427,083||Aegean Airlines, Alitalia, El Al, Israir|
|2||New York City||JFK, EWR||392,027||Delta Air Lines, Emirates, United Airlines|
|5||Cairo||CAI||236,939||Aegean Airlines, EgyptAir|
|6||Abu Dhabi||AUH||152,937||Etihad Airways|
|7||Beirut||BEY||152,729||Aegean Airlines, Middle East Airlines|
|8||Toronto||YYZ||132,629||Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat|
|9||Montreal||YUL||114,660||Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat|
|1||Thessaloniki||SKG||1,537,097||Aegean Airlines, Ellinair, Ryanair|
|2||Santorini||JTR||1,133,994||Aegean Airlines, Ellinair, Ryanair, Sky Express, Volotea|
|3||Heraklion||HER||1,018,118||Aegean Airlines, Ellinair, Sky Express|
|4||Rhodes||RHO||624,864||Aegean Airlines, Ryanair|
|5||Chania||CHQ||547,210||Aegean Airlines, Ryanair|
|6||Mykonos||JMK||473,612||Aegean Airlines, Ellinair, Olympic Air, Ryanair, Sky Express, Volotea|
|7||Corfu||CFU||327,144||Olympic Air, Ryanair|
|8||Mytilene||MJT||269,410||Aegean Airlines, Volotea|
|9||Kos||KGS||242,837||Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air|
|10||Alexandroupoli||AXD||207,004||Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air|
A railway station is immediately adjacent to the airport terminal, accessible by an elevated walkway. Athens Metro line 3 and the suburban railway service Proastiakos run trains to and from this station.
The airport is accessible by the Attiki Odos toll highway from the centre and northern Athens, Varis-Koropiou Avenue from the western part, Laurio Ave. from the South, and Spata-Loutsa Avenue from the East. A variety of parking options are available on site at the airport in three different parking lots. Located at the arrivals level, opposite the airport terminal, the airport offers short-term parking for up to five hours with 1,357 parking spaces available in lots P1 and P2. Long-term parking is located across the airport's main access road (Attiki Odos) with 5,802 parking spaces in lot P3. A free shuttle bus is available to transport passengers, while the lots are also accessible by foot to the terminal. Premium valet service is also offered at the Departures level by Entrance 3.
Taxis are available at the designated Taxi waiting area located by exit 3 of the arrivals level. Limousine service is also available upon request by the inner curbside of the arrivals level between exits 3 and 4.
Four bus lines (X93, X95, X96, X97) connect directly to the Athens greater area, the intercity bus stations (KTEL Kifissos Bus Terminal and Liosion bus terminal) and Piraeus. Buses disembark passengers at the departures level and depart from the arrivals level between exits 4 and 5. Regional bus services by KTEL Express operate to the airport, currently connecting the airport to Rafina, Markopoulo, Lavrio, Kalyvia and Keratea.
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|Second place in Europe in the main category of "Overall Passenger Satisfaction" for airports handling up to 15 million passengers annually. Award||2001|
|Third place in the world in the main category of "Overall Passenger Satisfaction" for airports handling up to 15 million passengers annually. Award||2001|
|First position in Europe, in the airport size category up to 15 million passengers per annum. IATA "Global Airport Monitor" Award for "Overall Passenger Satisfaction".||2002|
|First position in the world, in the airport size category up to 15 million passengers per annum. IATA "Global Airport Monitor" Award for "Overall Passenger Satisfaction".||2002|
|The best airport in the world (in the 5- to 15-million-passenger range) for its effectiveness in strategic marketing schemes for the development of new routes.||2002|
|The airport marketing team was granted a special merit award for its efficiency in coping with the major challenges confronting the airport since its opening in March 2001.||2002|
|"Commitment to Business Excellence" award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (E.F.Q.M.).||2002|
|"Recognised for Excellence" Award of the European Foundation for Quality Management (E.F.Q.M.).||2003|
|Eagle Award of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).||2003|
|Second place in Europe for "Overall Passenger Satisfaction" regardless of airport size. "Global Airport Monitor" by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).||2003|
|Second place in the world for "Overall Passenger Satisfaction" regardless of airport size. "Global Airport Monitor" by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).||2003|
|KPMG "Award for Human Resources Training and Development".||2003|
|European Airport of the Year 2004 by the British Institute of Transport Management (ITM).||2004|
|Second place in the world (airport size category 515 million per annum), in the "Overall Passenger Satisfaction" category. AETRA Awards.||2004|
|Third place in Europe regardless of airport size category, in the "Overall Passenger Satisfaction" category. AETRA Awards.||2004|
|"Commitment to Excellence" Distinction from the European Foundation Quality Management (E.F.Q.M.).||2004|
|Airports internal Audit Department was honoured by the Hellenic Institute of Internal Auditors (HIIA) with the "Recognition of Commitment" (ROC).||2004|
|European Commission's GreenLight Award.||2004|
|"Aerospace Industry Awards 2005", in the "Infrastructure & Environment" Award category.||2005|
|OAG Airport Marketing Award in the category (1025 million passengers).||2005|
|Skytrax award for best Airport in Southern Europe||2005|
|Skytrax award for best Airport in Southern Europe||2006|
|OAG Airport Marketing Award for its airline development programme in the 10- to 25-million-passenger bracket.||2006|
|Second at ATRS Business Efficiency Excellence Runner-up Award by the Air Transport Society (ATRS).||2006|
|"Cargo Airline of the Year" in the category of 100500,000 metric tonnes annually.||2006|
|OAG Airport Marketing Award.||2007|
|Skytrax award for best Airport in Southern Europe||2008|
|OAG Airport Marketing Award.||2008|
|"Golden Sun" during the 2nd Superbrands award ceremony.||2008|
|Web Award winner. Excellent evaluation of Athens International Airport's website.||2008|
|"Webbies Aviation Web Awards 2008". Bronze award in the "Best Airport Website" category||2008|
|"Webbies Aviation Web Awards 2008". Silver award in the category "Best Online Innovation" 2008||2008|
|Routes Airport Marketing Awards in the Europe category.||2009|
|OAG Routes Airport Marketing Awards Europe.||2009|
|1st place in the geographical region "Southern Europe Mediterranean".||2009|
|The best airport magazine in the world.||2009|
|First in the Category "Travel & Tourism".||2010|
|"Air Cargo Excellence Survey" in the category (100,000499,000 tonnes / Europe).||2010|
|"Airport of the Year 2010".||2010|
|2nd best airport in airline marketing in the European category.||2010|
|Winner in the "Mediterranean-Southern Europe" category.||2010|
|"European Airport of the Year 2011".||2011|
|Bronze award in the category "Company of the Year-Transportation" at the "Stevie International Business Awards".||2013|
|Winner of Routes Airport Marketing Award in the 420 m. passengers category.||2013|
|Eco-Innovation Award (Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe))||2013|
|"Lovie" award for the airport's new web page.||2013|
|"Webit" award for AIA's 2 airline blog.||2013|
|"Golden Ermis" in the "Digital Travel" category.||2014|
|"" graphic design award for the airport's web page.||2014|
|"Europe's Best Airport for 2014" in the 10- to 25-million-passenger category (Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe))||2014|
|"Airport of the Year" in the 10- to 30-million-passenger category (Air Transport News)||2015|
|Winner of Routes Airport Marketing Award in the 420 m. passengers category.||2016|
|"Europe's Best Airport for 2017" in the 15- to 25-million-passenger category (Airports Council International)||2017|
|Skytrax award for best Airport in Southern Europe||2018|
On the occasion of the delivery of the first Airbus A380 for commercial services, Athens International Airport (AIA) announces that Airbus, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas have identified AIA as an en-route alternate airport for an A380 diversion.
Media related to Athens International Airport at Wikimedia Commons