Athens International Airport

Athens International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Athens International Airport
"Elefthérios Venizélos"
nativename = Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών
"Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος"
nativename-a =
nativename-r =

image-width = 100
caption = Logo of Athens Airport

image2-width = 250px
caption2 = Aerial photo of AIA
type = Public
owner = Greek Government
operator = Athens International Airport S.A
city-served = Athens, Greece
location = Spata, Greece
elevation-f = 308
elevation-m = 94
coordinates = coord|37|56|11|N|23|56|40|E|type:airport
website = []
metric-elev =
metric-rwy =
r1-number = 03R/21L
r1-length-f = 13,123
r1-length-m = 4,000
r1-surface = Asphalt
r2-number = 03L/21R
r2-length-f = 12,467
r2-length-m = 3,800
r2-surface = Asphalt
h1-number =
h1-length-f =
h1-length-m =
h1-surface =
h2-number =
h2-length-f =
h2-length-m =
h2-surface =
stat-year = 2007
stat1-header = Passengers
stat1-data = 16,538,390
stat2-header = Aircraft operations
stat2-data = 205,294
stat3-header = Cargo
stat3-data = convert|118972376|kg|ton|0|abbr=on
footnotes = Sources: Passengerscite web |url= |title=Athens International Airport: Passenger Traffic Development 2007 |accessdate=2008-02-06 |work=Athens International Airport |publisher=] Flights [cite web |url= |title=Athens International Airport: Aircraft Movements Development 2007 |accessdate=2008-02-06 |work=Athens International Airport |publisher=] Cargo [cite web |url= |title=Athens International Airport: Cargo Uplift Development 2007 |accessdate=2008-02-06 |work=Athens International Airport |publisher=]

Athens International Airport ( _el. Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών, Diethnís Aeroliménas Athinón) known as "Elefthérios Venizélos", Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος) airport codes|ATH|LGAV, which began operation on 29 March 2001, is the civilian airport that serves the city of Athens and the region of Attica. The airport is the major hub and base for Olympic Airlines, Greece's state-owned airline, as well as for Aegean Airlines. The airport serves more than 16 million travellers annually and was named after the Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos. The airport has become increasingly popular as a gateway to Southeast and East Asia, with flights to Bangkok, Singapore, and Beijing, and is the largest European gateway airport to the Middle East, due to its proximity to the region. It is known for its continual investment in pioneering technology. The airport is also A380 ready, having been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration.cite press release |title=Athens International Airport: Diversion airport for A380 flight |publisher=Athens International Airport |date=2007-10-17 |url= |format= |language= |accessdate=2008-02-06 |quote=On the occasion of the delivery of the first Airbus A380 for commercial services, Athens International Airport (AIA) announces that Airbus, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas have identified AIA as an en-route alternate airport for an A380 diversion.]

General information

The airport was opened in 2001 to replace the now-closed Athens (Ellinikon) International Airport. The airport is located between the towns of Markopoulo, Koropi, Spata and Loutsa, about convert|20|km|mi|0|abbr=on to the east of central Athens (convert|30|km|mi|0|abbr=on by road, due to intervening hills). The airport is named after Elefthérios Venizélos, the prominent Cretan political figure and Prime Minister of Greece, who made an outstanding contribution in the Cretan rising against the Ottoman occupation of Crete in 1896.

The airport currently has two terminals: the Main Terminal, and the Satellite Terminal accessible by a foot-tunnel from the Main Terminal. It has two runways that are each approximately convert|4|km|mi|0|abbr=on in length. The airport was developed by public-private partnership with Greece holding 55% of the shares. The airport was awarded "European Airport of the Year" in 2004, within the framework of the annual Institute of Transport Management (ITM) Awards, for its innovative entrepreneurial scheme and the airport's successful operation and achievements.

The airport is designed to be upgraded over the ensuing years in order to accommodate the increase in air travel, and its upgrades are planned in a six-phase framework. The first (current) phase allows the airport to accommodate 16 million passengers a year; the sixth phase will allow the airport to accommodate as many as 50 million passengers a year. In 2007, the airport handled 16,538,645 passengers, 9.7% more than in 2006.

It is also an airport that has received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration for take-offs and landings of the biggest passenger jet worldwide, the Airbus A380.

In 2005 and 2006, the Airport was awarded the Skytrax award for best airport in Southern Europe.

Ground transport


The airport is accessible by the Attiki Odos toll highway. The part of the highway which leads directly to the airport is toll free and is accessible through Koropi and Markopoulo Mesogaias. The cost of the toll is €2.70.


Taxis don't have a fixed price to and from the airport. However, there is a standard airport fee (€3.20 to and from the airport), a standard luggage fee (€0.30 per luggage) and the cost of tolls if Attiki Odos is used. The average price from and to the city centre during the day is €25, and €40 during the night hours (00:00-05:00).


A rail station immediately adjacent to the airport terminal (and accessible by an elevated walkway) was completed in time for the 2004 Olympics. The station is served by line 3 of the Athens Metro and by the Proastiakos suburban train service. The metro ticket costs €6 for 1 person, €10 for 2 persons and €15 for 3 persons. Children pay 50% off the normal ticket. The average travel time from the airport to the city centre is 40 minutes.


Three bus lines are available 24/7 at the lower level of the terminal. During early morning hours, they leave and reach the airport every 30 minutes, whereas in the afternoon and evening hours, the frequency is 15 minutes. The bus ticket can be purchased onboard or at the ticket stand next to the station and costs €3.20.

ervices and Facilities

Athens International Airport also boasts many services and facilities for the convenience of all passengers. Services and Facilities include:
*"Children's Creative Entertainment Centre (Free of charge supervised play area)
*"ATM's (Greek Alpha and Emporiki Banks)
*"Currency Exchange Outlets
*"WSW Skycap Services (Baggage Hauling and Porter Service)
*"Secure Bag Protection (Baggage Wrapping Service)
*"Massage Chairs
*"Hair Salon
*"Travel Agencies
*"Car Rentals (Avis, Budget Rent a Car, Europcar, Hertz, Alamo Rent A Car and Sixt)
*"Baggage storage service
*"Airport business centre
*"Airport Hotel (Sofitel Athens Airport)

Airport Hotel

The airport hotel, Sofitel Athens Airport is located adjacent to the Main Terminal outside the Extra/Intra Schengen Arrivals Hall. The 5-star hotel is complete with 345 rooms, 13 suites, 2 restaurants, 2 bars, 24-hour room service, conference and meeting rooms, indoor swimming pool, indoor sauna and a fitness centre.


*"European Airport of the Year" - 2004
*"Skytrax award for best Airport in Southern Europe" - 2005,2006 and 2008 [cite web |url= |title=Airport of the Year - Regional Results |accessdate=2007-08-03 | |work=Skytrax |date=2006]
*"GreenBuilding Award for its exemplary energy saving figures reflected in the two previous years (2006, 2007)" - 2008 [cite web |url= |title=Athens International Airport - “GreenBuilding” Award for saving energy |accessdate=2008-05-14 | |work=Athens International Airport |date=May 08, 2008]

Airline Lounges

Many airline users of Athens International Airport operate luxurious and modern passenger lounges. First and Business Class passengers of the respective airlines and partner alliances can enjoy lounge facilities at the airport. Airline lounges at the airport include:
*"Alitalia 'Donatello' Lounge
*"Goldair Handling CIP Lounge
*"Aegean Airlines CIP Lounge
*"Lufthansa 'Senator' Lounge
*"Olympic Airlines 'Melina Merkouri' Lounge
*"Olympic Airlines 'Aristotelis Onassis' Lounge
*"British Airways 'Terraces' Lounge
*"Swissport 'Executive' Lounge

Robotic security

The airport is equipped with two robotic systems (robots "Hercules" and "Ulysses") capable of handling suspect devices. They are designed to protect the lives of individuals as well as airport spaces by safely identifying and removing explosives.

"Hercules" was donated by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. It is a system capable of the safe collection and transportation of explosives for disposal. It is equipped with a spherical shaped tank with a diameter of 120 cm, and two robotic folding arms.

"Ulysses" is a system worth €94,000, donated by Soukos Robots ABEE. This system was manufactured in order to serve as a supplement to Hercules. It can access more difficult areas than Hercules such as toilets, buses or aircraft. It is a light but highly efficient robot, equipped with a shock-absorbing system allowing movements on rough surfaces.


Athens International Airport has two terminal buildings, the Main Terminal and the Satellite Terminal. All check-in desks are located in the Main Terminal, and the Satellite terminal is easily accessible through an underground link complete with moving walkways.

Main Terminal

The Main Terminal Building handles the majority of Extra and Intra Schengen flights, it has three separate levels, one for arrivals, one for departures and a food court level complete with a view of the eastern runway.

atellite Terminal

The Satellite Terminal handles Extra Schengen flights only. It has two levels, one for arrivals and the other for departures.

Airport Shopping Centre

For 6 consecutive years, the Shopping Centre of Athens International Airport has been ranked amongst the top Shopping Centres of the finest European Airports.Fact|date=March 2008 Over 50 Greek and International stores, restaurants and cafes dominate the airports' terminals. Some include:
*"Swatch Watch
*"Tie Rack
*"Korres Natural Products
*"The Cartoon Store
*"Hugo Boss
*"Hellenic Duty Free and Travel Value
*"Mc Donalds
*"Mc Cafe
*"The Olive Tree
*"Upper Crust

Incidents and accidents

* On August 14, 2005 Helios Airways Flight 522, a Helios Airways Boeing 737-300 registered 5B-DBY crashed en route from Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus to ATH, near Grammatikon, Attica.

Airlines and destinations

*Adria Airways (Ljubljana)
*Aegean Airlines
**Domestic: (Alexandroupolis, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Heraklion, Ioannina, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kos, Limnos, Mykonos, Mytilene, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Thessaloniki)
**International: (Bucharest-Otopeni, Cairo, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Larnaca, London-Stansted, Milan-Malpensa, Munich, Paris-Charles de Gaulle [begins 12 November] , Rome-Fiumicino, Sofia, Stuttgart, Tirana)
*Aer Lingus (Dublin) [seasonal]
*Aeroflot (Moscow-Sheremetyevo)
*Aerosvit Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil, Odessa)
*airBaltic (Riga)
*airberlin (Düsseldorf, Munich, Nuremberg)
*Air China (Beijing, Dubai [Ends Winter Season] , Paris-Charles de Gaulle [Starts Winter Season] )
*Air France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
*Air Malta (Luqa)
*Air Moldova (Chişinău)
*Air One (Bologna, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Rome-Fiumicino)
*Air Transat (Montreal, Toronto-Pearson)
*Albanian Airlines (Tirana)
*Alitalia (Rome-Fiumicino)
*Armavia (Yerevan)
*Austrian Airlines (Vienna)
*Blue1 (Helsinki)
*British Airways (London-Heathrow)
*Brussels Airlines (Brussels)
*Bulgaria Air (Sofia)
*Carpatair (Timişoara)
*Clickair (Barcelona)
*Continental Airlines (Newark) [seasonal]
*Cyprus Airways (Larnaca, Paphos)
*Czech Airlines (Prague)
*Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, New York-JFK)
*DonbassAero (Chernovtsy, Donetsk, Lviv)
*easyJet (Berlin-Schönefeld, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Milan-Malpensa, Paris-Orly)
*EgyptAir (Cairo)
*El Al (Tel Aviv)
*Emirates (Dubai)
*EuroAir (Charter)
*Flybaboo (Geneva ,Nice) [begins 26 October]
*Finnair (Helsinki) [seasonal]
*Futura International Airways (Barcelona) [seasonal]
*Georgian Airways (Tbilisi)
*Germanwings (Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart)
*Gulf Air (Bahrain)
*Hellas Jet (Charter)
*Hellenic Imperial Airways (Erbil)
*Iberia (Madrid)
*Ilyich-Avia (Marioupolis)
*Jat Airways (Belgrade, Tripoli)
*KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam)
*KrasAir (Moscow-Domodedovo)
*LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw)
*Lufthansa (Frankfurt, Munich)
*Malév Hungarian Airlines (Budapest)
*Middle East Airlines (Beirut)
*MyAir (Bari, Venice)
*Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo, Warsaw)
*Olympic Airlines
**Domestic: (Alexandroupolis, Astypalaia, Chania, Chios, Corfu/Kerkyra, Heraklion, Ikaria, Ioannina, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kastoria, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kithira, Kos, Kozani, Leros, Limnos, Milos, Mykonos, Mytilene, Naxos, Paros, Preveza, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Sitia, Skiathos, Skyros, Syros, Thessaloniki, Zakynthos)
**International: (Alexandria, Amsterdam, Beirut, Belgrade, Berlin-Tegel, Brussels, Bucharest-Otopeni, Cairo, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul-Atatürk, Johannesburg, Kuwait, Larnaca, London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow, Madrid, Manchester, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Montreal, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Munich, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Sofia, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv, Tirana, Toronto-Pearson, Vienna)
*Qatar Airways (Doha)
*Rossiya (St. Petersburg)
*Royal Jordanian (Amman)
*Saudi Arabian Airlines (Jeddah, Riyadh)
*Scandinavian Airlines System (Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm-Arlanda)
*Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
*SkyEurope (Bratislava, Prague, Vienna)
*Spanair (Barcelona) [seasonal]
*Sterling Airlines (Copenhagen, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Oslo, Stockholm-Arlanda)
*Swiss International Air Lines (Geneva, Zürich)
*Syrian Arab Airlines (Damascus)
*TAROM (Bucharest-Otopeni)
*Thai Airways International (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi)
*Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk)
*Tunisair (Tunis)
*US Airways (Philadelphia) [seasonal]
*Uzbekistan Airways (Tashkent)
*Viking Airlines (Stockholm-Arlanda)
*Volare Airlines (Milan-Malpensa)
*Vueling Airlines (Barcelona)

Cargo Airlines

*DHL (Leipzig)
*TNT Airways (Liège)

Former Airlines and Destinations

*Alpi Eagles (Venice)
*Axon Airlines
*Centralwings (Krakow)
*Delta Airlines (Frankfurt)
*Helios Airways (Larnaca)
*Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi,Lahore)
*Qantas (Belgrade, Bangkok-Don Mueang, Sydney)
*Sabena (Brussels)
*Swissair (Geneva, Zurich)
*Virgin Atlantic (London Gatwick)


External links

* [ Athens International Airport - Eleftherios Venizelos Official Site]

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