Monday, May 20, 2024
Tourism boosts Mediterranean trade

Tourism boosts Mediterranean trade

Navigating the complexities of increasing passenger traffic and expanding cargo operations as Greece’s tourism industry rebounds to pre-pandemic levels, Athens International Airport (ATH) is looking to capitalise on the country’s invigorated economy.

“The number of passengers has returned to normal, especially between the touristic Greece period of April to Oct. ATH has more passengers and, of course, more airlines and cargo capacity with more flights,” Pavlos Poutos, CEO of Marinair Cargo Services Ltd, said.

Regional and international opportunities

ATH looks to transcend national borders, positioning it as a central hub due to Greece’s “perfect geographical location, especially in the Balkan area and Mediterranean region.”

This strategic advantage is bolstered by a significant investment master plan, including a €650 million expansion expected to serve 50 million passengers annually, marking ATH’s ambition. This will be paired with the development of Greece’s road network and the investments in Piraeus and Thessaloniki seaports, offering intermodal opportunities.

“ATH can be easily connected via sea and create a combined network from/to Central Europe and the Balkans via rail or truck,” Poutos explained.

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Developing sector

In response to growing competition in the market, ATH is leveraging Greece’s extended touristic period to develop its commercial and logistical sectors further.

In particular, during this time, destination countries like USA, ASIA and Middle East can be served with better capacity than airports in neighbouring countries at a better cost and with more frequent connections.

“Investments that have been announced over time create the appropriate conditions so Athens becomes a centre of passenger and freight transit as well for a longer period of the year,” the managing director outlined.

“We must accept more investments in these sectors, better knowledge, and more openminded approaches to the potentiality of ATH Airport as a more significant Hub.

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Greece goes digital

Technology is playing a crucial role in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of ATH, with ATH acknowledging that it must embrace more investment in this field, taking a more openminded approach to expand the hub’s potential.

“It’s essential to develop the digitalisation of vital sectors, like Greek Customs operations and Cargo Ground Handlers operations,” Poutos stated.

“The truth is that the development of an Airport depends mostly on the right plan, the right investment at all levels and from all parties involved.

“ATH Airport has been started already long time ago, but this does not means that there is not space for improvement of course.”

Picture of Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek started her journalism career in 2016 at Ukrainian TV-Channels: 24 Channel and 1+1 Media. Having worked across a number of different sectors, including news, medicine and lifestyle, she joined the Air Cargo Week editorial team in 2024. To share your news and exclusive insights, contact Anastasiya.Simsek@AirCargoWeek.com

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