Economist Discredits Athens International Airport

DB9EE6156D8DE87A44FD5EBE03AB3000In a review, the Economist magazine says the 12-year-old Athens International Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos, is in “poor condition,” and suffering a big drop in traffic, although it has received generally good reviews from other analysts.

The airport, which was designed to handle 21 million passengers a year has seen only 12 million and suffered a 25 percent drop since 2007 during a growing economic crisis in the  country.

“Foreign airlines have fled,” stated the Economist. Delta axed winter flights to New York last year, leaving Greece without a direct connection to America for the first time in nearly 70 years.

United Airlines, Thai Airways, Gulf Air and Czech Airlines have also left. Last year Singapore Airlines moved its regional operation to Istanbul. Olympic Air’s brush with bankruptcy deprived it of its entire long-haul network, including routes to Dubai, New York and Johannesburg.

Intercontinental connectivity is far worse than at other southern European airports such as Madrid and Rome. “Although both the airport’s full-sized runways are capable of handling the Airbus A380 superjumbo, 59% of the airport’s traffic is now carried on narrow-bodies and turboprops to domestic destinations,” the magazine noted.

“It is now difficult to hide the fraying image of the airport that “opened to much fanfare 12 years ago,” the Economist concluded.


  1. ALL those moves were based on Greek ECONOMY, not the airport. Then add the STRIKES that affected it’s transport hub and air traffic controllers mini strikes. None of this has anything to do with the “condition” of the airport.

    The problem is that Maria daBlogger like every other blogger who pretends they are reporters on this site can’t differentiate between cause and effect. So they write something that they think makes sense. ….or at least hope it does.

  2. We shouldn’t give any publicity to the “The Econonist” magazine. Its editors and staff are rabidly anti-Greek. ALL the Economist Group media having been lobbying for the Skopians and trash talking Greeks over the issue. (while the bigots that work there pretend not to notice their little transformation into ancient Macedonians or the fact the UK itself used to militarily support us on this issue)
    Perhaps if the western French called themselves “ethnic Scottish” or “ethnic English’ while claiming 1/3 of the UK as “modern British occupied England” the evil trolls would better understand.

  3. This was a blog entry on The Economist and is more opinionated hype than anything, the airport is not run down, it’s actually clean and pretty busy during high season. They forgot to mention how a few airports have been upgraded in the meantime on Islands, as there are more direct flights over the years from a few European cities to Islands. A lot of people look to bypass Athens Airport, I’m one of them, as I do not stay in Athens, but usually visit the larger Islands with their own airports, which have direct flights from European cities that I connect to from JFK. There were charter flights at Athens Airport, Hellenic Imperial was one of them, but the massive strikes a few years back made them cease operations, especially the JFK Athens route. I actually flew on one of those direct flights from JFK to Athens, was cheap and well worth it. Then there is the Aegean and Olympic merger that the EU constantly denies, this would bring back direct flights from JFK to Athens year round. The airport can be upgraded to actually handle 50 million passengers, the airlines current upgrade increase passenger capacity to 16mil, but with advances in technology 21mil is now attainable.


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