Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair reduces domestic Greek routes blaming airport fees

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Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair reduces domestic Greek routes blaming airport feesFlights to Mykonos, Santorini and Thessaloniki will continue

With a surprising decision the low-cost company Ryanair announced its decision to reduce domestic flights in Greece with the exception of Mykonos, Santorini and Thessaloniki.

The company continued to ramp up its pressure for reduced airport fees and decided to withdraw two of its aircrafts in Germany beginning from June 1st. Also, Ryanair’s base in Chania will close as well.

The announcement of the company:

“Unfortunately, the charges for Greek airports, for the most part, encourage routes only in the summer and only in international destinations, which require fewer aircraft in Greece. Therefore, two aircraft will be transported from Greece to Germany, where they can achieve a higher return on an annual basis. Ryanair remains open to discussions with airport operators to develop a development plan covering all airlines, supporting flights throughout the year and justifying additional aircraft on a permanent basis at Greek airports.”

Ryanair continued to ramp up its pressure for reduced airport fees in Greece, announcing on Wednesday that it was sharply reducing domestic routes in the country and closing a base in Hania, Crete as of June. 1.   

A Ryanair sales and marketing director for the eastern Mediterranean, Nikolaos Lardis, blamed high costs at Greek regional airports for the cut-back, noting only summer-time traffic made the routes commercially viable.

Deutsche Welle: Greece benefits from Fraport assumption of 14 regional airports

On the other hand, Germany-based Fraport AG appears fully satisfied with its massive Greek investment so far, as the latter assumed the management of 14 regional airports around the eastern Mediterranean country last year under a long-term concession won by its majority-owned subsidiary, Fraport Greece.

According to Fraport AG chairman of the executive board Stefan Schulte, a swift implementation of renovations and upgrades at the 14 airports around Greece is underway, with the subsidiary proceeding with investments worth 400 million euros until 2021.

Beyond the long-term strategy plan to increase passenger traffic and raise revenues, Fraport Greece has completed "window-dressing" measures to improve the airports' image, such as replacing restroom doors, fielding operational fire-fighting vehicles and even inaugurating wi-fi networks that actually work.

According to Deutsche Welle, the Frankfurt-listed company, which also manages the major airport in the same German metropolis, has already funneled 1.2 billion euros into Greek state coffers - along with its subsidiary partner, Slentel - for the 40-year concession.

Overall passenger traffic for the 14 airports grew by 10 percent to reach 27.6 million, while turnover exceeded 235 million euros. Currently, some 550 people in Greece are employed by Fraport Greece, with the number expected to significantly increase in the near future.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source:pixabay.com

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