The Athens International Airport, also called Eleftherios Venizelos after a Greek politician, is a civilian airport that opened on March 29, 2001, and serves the Attica region as well as the city of Athens. The airport has a Main Terminal and a Satellite Terminal. It is approved for landing and take-off of the Airbus A380, which is the largest passenger jet in the world. The Athens International Airport is 33 kilometres southeast of Athens and is among the top thirty busiest airports in Europe.
The Main Terminal contains all the check-in desks. It has three levels including one for departures, one for arrivals and a food court level. The Satellite Terminal has one level for departure and one for arrivals.
The airport has a wireless Internet zone with service available within the terminal areas. It is free for 45 minutes. There is also a business centre that is equipped with a PC with Internet access, fax, phone, printing, and photocopying services. There is a meeting room for up to six people with a video projector, printer, conference tele-set, PC, and Internet access.
Short-term parking is located in front of the Arrivals Hall and long-term parking is further away and has a shuttle bus that transfers passengers to the airport. The first 20 minutes of parking in any parking spot is free. There is also Executive Valet Parking by the Departures Hall. There are five car rental companies operating in the airport. The offices are on the Arrivals Level.
A Children’s Creative Entertainment Area is available for families. It was created by a non-profit organisation and is a safe, friendly environment that is overseen by professionally trained staff. Children can play, while parents tend to travel procedures and shopping. This facility is at the Departures Level next to Gates B1 and B2.
There are also rooms at various locations in the airport that are especially outfitted for the care of babies. They have changing tables as well as facility for feeding.
Athens International Airport has medical infrastructure with first aid, emergency care, and a pharmacy that is available 24/7 to passengers, visitors and employees of the airport.
Athens Airport Services
The airport provides wrapping service for regular and oversized baggage. There is porter service that, upon arrival, transfers baggage from the conveyor belt to the chosen transportation, and for departure passengers, moves baggage to the check-in counters from the bus station or parking lot. Porter service can be called from the Arrival or Departure Hall, or it can be booked in advance by calling WSW Skycap. Porters are also available to help groups on arrival and departure. There is safe storage space in the airport for baggage.
If passengers discover items lost in the Terminal areas they can contact Airport Lost Property, which is operated on a 24-hour basis by the Hellenic Police. The police office is on the Arrivals Level in the pubic area near the Post Office.
Athens International Airport has seven VIP lounges that can be booked in advance online. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The facilities include showers, snacks, bar, free Wifi for one hour and many other amenities. People accessing these lounges must be passengers with tickets and boarding passes.
ATMs are located in the Departures Level at all user area 2 and all passenger area 3, in the Satellite Terminal building, in the Airport Railway Station and in the Arrivals Level.
The Athens International airport has won several awards including European Airport of the Year for 2004, the best airport in Southern Europe in 2005, 2006 and 2008 by Skytrax, and the GreenBuilding Award in 2006 and 2007 for the way it is able to save energy.
Airlines Serving Athens Airport
Athens International Airport, known by airport code ATH, provides domestic, international and cargo air services to the Athens area of Greece. About 14 million passengers pass through the gates traveling on the planes of more than a dozen carriers. Several carriers utilize the airport for a hub providing extended service to the region.
Athens, the ancient home of the Olympic games, is also the hub of Olympic Airlines. The airline uses about 20 aircraft to fly to domestic destinations in Greece as well as a limited list in southern Europe. The airline is one of the top domestic Greek carriers.
Aegean Airlines, also operating a hub at Athens, is the largest Greek passenger airline. This airline operates about 30 aircraft with a total passenger count of about 6 million people per year. A possible merger between Aegean and Olympic Airlines would result in consolidations of operations including the hubs both operate at Athens International Airport. The merger has been blocked by the European Union but may be revisited in the future.
One of the smaller carriers operating a hub at Athens is Cyprus Airways. This carrier operates a fleet of about a dozen aircraft flying to about 25 destinations. The airline serves cities in Europe and the Middle East with several destinations featuring multiple daily services. This airline was originally a part of British European Airways but is now operated independently as the flag carrier airline for Cyprus.
Helenic Imperial Airways offers a limited list of six destinations served by four aircraft. The flights all begin or end at Athens international Airport making that facility its hub. The airline is also known for its charter operations and is planning an expansion to more destinations with more aircraft.
Athens International Airport literally serves dozens of airlines although many fly on only a seasonal schedule bringing vacationers to the Greek Islands. For example, Easy Jet Switzerland lists Athens as a seasonal destination from Geneva. Germanwings operates flights from Bonn and Stuttgard during the holiday season. Scandinavian Airlines operates permanently scheduled flights from Copenhagen and adds seasonal flights from Stockholm and Oslo during the summer. American travelers have seasonal access to Athens by US Airways, which operates flights seasonally from Philadelphia. In addition, many other airlines operate holiday charters and other limited schedule services to Athens.