The Canadian investors of Athens International Airport ‘Eleftherios Venizelos’ (AIA) saw their improved offer for the concession contract’s extension by 20 years, amounting to €600m plus 15% of annual operating profits, accepted by state sell-off fund TAIPED last week.
The deal coincides with significant improvements made at AIA with two central security points, faster procedures thanks to the automatic equipment installed and more commercial stores.
The growth trend has increased at the airport in recent years following a decline in the earlier years of the debt crisis. Passenger numbers exceeded 20 million in 2016 and current projections see a further increase to 22 million for 2017.
The growth is also helped by the number of new routes on offer as airlines aim to capitalise. Emirates recently began year round non-stop flights to New York, once again connecting Greece directly to the US after the US carrier Delta dropped their year-round route to a seasonal one a few years ago. In addition, Ryanair, one of the largest low-cost airlines in Europe, has established a base at AIA offering several domestic and international routes. British Airways and EasyJet also offer additional routes to the Greek mainland and several islands from the UK over the summer season.