Executives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said this week that Greece needs to invest to ensure the viability of its air traffic management system, and recruit more air traffic controllers to reduce delays during the summer period.
The IATA said that Greece must also contain airport charges and expand terminal and runway capacity to maximise the potential of its air transport industry, which contributes about €17.8 billion, or 10.2%, to gross domestic product.
"A Lifeline For Greece's Economy"
IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac told reporters, "Air transport is such a lifeline for Greece's economy, a key driver. The potential is enormous, but to unleash it, key recommendations must be addressed."
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Greece, which is the eighth-largest aviation market in Europe and has been privatising its airports as it seeks to fully recover from eight years of recession, grew its air connectivity by 106% from 2013 to last year.
The IATA said, "Airport charges include high concession fees, and are not set based on sound economic regulatory principles, but based on concession agreements."
The Need For New Terminal And Runway Infrastructure
Some 25.5 million passengers and 73,000 freight tonnes departed from Greek airports in 2017, and the IATA said that new terminal and runway infrastructure need to be developed to meet future increases in passenger demand.
The airlines body projected that, in the next 20 years, the number of departing passengers will grow by 33.1%, and that if Greece pursues the right policies then the air transport industry can grow by at least 35% over the same period.