By F. Zois
Greece's transport ministry this week issued urgent measures to reduce increasingly long delays for flights at various airports around the country, especially at well-known tourism destinations, given the ongoing peak summer season.
One urgent move is to increase flight controllers at the main Athens International Airport (AIA), the transfer of more personnel to the Civil Aviation Authority and the approval of an extra one million euros per year to hire and train another 47 controllers.
Increasing flight traffic in the Athens FIR over the summer months, especially take-off and landings at Greece's busy airports, has caused serious delays on a daily basis.
For instance, the country's biggest airports, the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport of Athens, feature among Europe's busiest, yet it remains near the top in terms of flight delays, something that affects the quality of Greece's tourism product, given that many holiday-makers arrive at the Athens airport for transit to other regional destinations.
Serious flight delays are also recorded at the pre-eminent tourist destinations, such as Mykonos, Santorini, Irakleio (Heraklion) and Chania (Hania).