The Athens Airport, formally called Athens International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in the country. Located between the towns of Koropi, Markopoulo, Spata and Athens, the airport is a central hub for airlines including Aegean Airlines, Ellinair, Olympic Air, Ryanair and Sky Express. It handles approximately 26 million passengers annually and is considered a focus city for Ellinair and Volotea.
Dedicated to the Cretan political figure and Prime Minister of Greece, Elefthérios Venizélos, the airport is operated by AIA S.A. Handled jointly by the Hellenic Republic and the private sector, Athens airport officially opened on 28 March 2001. There are two parallel runways of 4 km and 3.8 km respectively and the first scheduled A380 flight took place in 2012 by Emirates. The airport underwent problems from 2009 to 2013 due to the Greek government-debt crisis. Overall passenger traffic of the airport was reduced for six consecutive years yet 2014 was turning point due to the operation of flights from 10 new airlines. A traffic of 15.1 million passengers was recorded during 2014. Gradually, airport traffic increased over the years with an impressive record of 20 million passengers in 2016.
Consisting of two passenger terminals, the Main Terminal has two Halls. Hall A handles flights to Non-Schengen countries and Non-European countries whereas Hall B is responsible for flights to Intra-Schengen countries and domestic services. The Main Hall is equipped with 144 check-in desks and three separate levels, individually responsible for Arrivals, Departures and a food court. There is a Satellite Terminal too which has two levels: Arrivals and departures and it has the capacity to handle 6 million passengers annually.
Baggage service including safe storage of luggage and services for wrapping baggage is provided. Aiming to fully meet the needs of travelling families, a Play Area for children from aged 2-9 years operates free of charge and it is located on the 2nd floor of the Main Terminal Building, right next to the Eleftherios Venizelos exhibition. Health facilities including a fully equipped First Aid Station and a pharmacy are offered to the passengers.
The airport is also home to the head offices of Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air and an office of the Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board. The airport uses robotic systems donated by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to handle potentially dangerous materials.