Beginning operation in 2001, Athens International Airport became the primary port of entry serving mainly Athens and the Attica region. Its Greek name is Diethnís Aeroliménas Athinón "Elefthérios Venizélos," which commemorates Eleftherios Venizelos, a prominent Cretan political figure and also a former Prime Minister of Greece, who had a major contribution on the development of Greek aviation and the Hellenic Air Force.
The airport is additionally the hub and main base of Aegean Airlines and other Greek airlines operating in the country, allowing it to handle millions of passengers connecting between Europe and some parts of Asia. Tourists looking for the airport will find it between 37.93635 (latitude) and 23.946486 (longitude), lying 27 kilometres northeast of the capital, between the towns of Markopoulo, Koropi, Spata, and Loutsa.
Due to the economic crisis, the air traffic venturing to Athens International was affected since 2009. Some airlines such as Continental Airlines, Thai Airways, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines, and Delta Air Lines ended their regular scheduled flights with Athens, as lack of regular passengers decreased. Seasonal flights are more active, however, which has caused a resurgence of passenger traffic in Athens, as of the time of writing.
Expanded and renovated for the 2004 Olympics, the airport divided the main terminal's operations into areas A and B. Hall A is used for flights to non-Schengen countries and non-European countries, while Hall B serves Intra-Schengen countries, as well as domestic provinces and islands. A satellite terminal for charter flights was also built to cope with the demand. The Satellite Terminal is accessible by a foot tunnel from the Main Terminal. It is designed to be extended in a modular approach in the succeeding years.
Airlines offering regular service as of the time of writing are: Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air China, Air France, Air Malta, Air Moldova, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Astra Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Czech Airlines, easyJet, Ellinair, EgyptAir, El Al, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Mahan Air, Middle East Airlines, Niki, Olympic Air, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, Sky Express, SkyGreece Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, TAROM, Transavia, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Ural Airlines, and Vueling.
Services and Facilities
Various services are in place for tourists coming to Greece. Baggage services such as individual porter services are available on a 24-hour basis to assist travellers having difficulties carrying their baggage in the airport. There is also storage facilities available, and even baggage wrapping points. Passengers travelling with children will also be pleased to find amenities reserved for their little ones. The play area operates free of charge, but children must be escorted by one of their parents at all times and travelling documents of both parents and the child must be shown. Children with flu-like symptoms, however, cannot be accepted in the play area. Baby rooms can also be found in the airport for feeding and changing infants.
For those needing medical care, there is a First Aid Station available and a pharmacy providing medicines for tourists. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can also be provided for those who might need them. Appropriate medical statements might be necessary, though. Seven departure lounges can also be found in the airport. They are meant for passengers of British Airways, Aegean Airlines, Lufthansa (Business), Skyserv Handling Services, Swissport Executive Lounge, Goldair Handling, and Skyserv Handling Services.
Many other services can be found on Athens International Airport, from banks and ATM service, currency exchange, post office, and other related services.