Athens turns to air/sea to boost volumes

With much of its cargo throughput consisting of belly capacity, Athens International Airport (AIA)felt the bite of the global economic downturn. Pressed to find ways to boost sagging cargo volumes the airport has given its multi-modal business – which enjoyed only limited success since the air/sea initiative was kicked off in 2007 – a boost […]


With much of its cargo throughput consisting of belly capacity, Athens International Airport (AIA)felt the bite of the global economic downturn. Pressed to find ways to boost sagging cargo volumes the airport has given its multi-modal business – which enjoyed only limited success since the air/sea initiative was kicked off in 2007 – a boost through a new partnership. Athens International Airport (AIA) and, the Piraeus Container Terminal SA(PCT SA) owned by the giant Chinese transport Cosco have signed an agreement establishing the link between the port of Piraeus and the airport. Its objective is to develop future cargo flows. The agreement, within the overall commercial Agreements between Greece and China, was signed in the presence of the Prime Ministers of both countries. The airport will benefit from working agreements with both port terminal operators. “The creation of a bridge between the port of Piraeus and the airport is already operated by direct truck-shuttle service at favourable cost and handling terms,” said Alexis Sioris, head of development at the airport. “AIA is one of a few European airports which has developed such specific multi-modal traffic, incorporating faster simplified Customs procedures and handling processes. The arrival upon the transport infrastructure of this powerful Chinese operator and new facility will open the door to steady flows of inbound Sea/Air traffic,” he said. “Much of this cargo is destined for the US, for which we have excellent frequent wide body capacity. We are also expanding our traffic flows into the Balkan countries whose airports are too small to accept cargo flights”.