More traf­fic at re­gional air­ports

Sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in num­ber of tourists pass­ing through Fra­port-man­aged ter­mi­nals ahead of up­grades

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ALEXAN­DRA KASSIMI

The num­ber of ar­rivals at the 14 re­gional air­ports man­aged by the con­sor­tium led by Ger­many’s Fra­port has risen sig­nif­i­cantly so far this year.

There was a 10.3 per­cent rise in pas­sen­ger ar­rivals in July, while the in­crease for the first seven months of the year was 14.1 per­cent. The num­ber of in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­gers in July reached 4.1 mil­lion com­pared to 3.7 mil­lion last year. The num­ber of ar­rivals for the year to end-July was 10.6 mil­lion, which is 1.3 mil­lion higher than that in the same pe­riod of 2016.

There were im­pres­sive in­creases in ar­rivals at Ak­tio (21.2 per­cent), Kavala (22.5), Thes­sa­loniki (22.8) and Kos (22.1). The big­gest rise, though, was at Lesvos, where pas­sen­ger num­bers sky­rock­eted by 57 per­cent.

There were also en­cour­ag­ing signs in the data re­lated to domes- tic flights, although the in­creases were much smaller. The num­ber of pas­sen­gers who flew to the 14 re­gional air­ports from other Greek des­ti­na­tions rose by 3.8 per­cent be­tween January and July. The big­gest rises were at Zakyn­thos (36.5 per­cent) and My­conos (29.6). How­ever, there were de­clines in do­mes­tic pas­sen­gers at Ak­tio, Kavala and Lesvos air­ports.

Sources say that Fra­port en- coun­tered sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems with the sta­tis­tics from pre­vi­ous years. The Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity had ap­par­ently not prop­erly recorded some move­ments at the air­ports in ques­tion.

The com­pany has also stepped up clean­ing work at the air­ports, par­tic­u­larly in the southern Aegean, where short­com­ings have been ev­i­dent. At San­torini and My­conos, for ex­am­ple, the ter­mi­nal build­ings are so small that there is no room for clean­ers dur­ing peak hours. The teams of clean­ers have been strength­ened so that they can carry out their work out­side of peak hours.

Af­ter the sum­mer, the ma­jor­ity of the air­ports will re­sem­ble work sites as the task of mak­ing im­prove­ments be­gins. The ex­cep­tion will be the air­port on Kos, where a com­pletely new ter­mi­nal will be con­structed.

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