Athens airport sees improvement

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The cargo operation at Athens International Airport is growing, despite several years of economic downturn.

Cargo traffic through the airport improved by 3.3 per cent over 2014. December saw it grow by 4.9 per cent, which the airport describes as, “a modest, but positive trend”. This is the first growth Athens’ cargo operation has seen in several years. Figures for 2013, 2012 and 2011 show falls of  two per cent, 11 per cent and 8.3 per cent, respectively.

A number of projects are already underway that the airport authorities hope will further boost cargo traffic. Customs at Athens International is soon to launch an electronic payment system for duties and taxes. This will allow payment by bank transfer, while keeping open accounts with the Greek government’s Ministry of Finance.

The renewal of ground handling services is also to begin in March. This covers freight and mail, baggage, ramp, aircraft fuelling and catering ramp services. DHL has announced plans to maintain and upgrade its Athens cargo terminal, but will outsource ramp activities to Swissport Hellas Cargo.

Athens International Airport cargo development manager, Alexis Sioris, says: “We are once again showing our customers that Athens is a multi-modal cargo hub, which has been a major ambition since the airport was opened in 2001. Economic pressure has encouraged us all to raise our game and combine strengths and be more pro-active in generating new business”.

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