The European Commission's statement emphasizes that the measures to support the capital's Greek airport are compensation for damage suffered between July 1 and December 31 last year due to the pandemic and travel restrictions imposed by the Greek government. During this period, Athens International Airport experienced a significant decline in passenger traffic and profitability.
According to the members of the Commission, “the financial support approved by the authorities compensates for the damage directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” In addition, it is argued that the same measure “is proportional, since the compensation does not exceed the necessary amount necessary to eliminate the damage.”
In terms of air passenger traffic, Greece is now ranked third after Croatia and Cyprus, with an increase of 86 percent compared to 2021, according to the European Union's statistics service Eurostat.
In September, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias noted that the country's capital, Athens, has achieved a significant increase in tourism during this year, despite the problems and obstacles caused by the energy crisis, inflation and events in Eastern Europe.
He also said that Athens' tourism revenue this year exceed the record $18.2 billion recorded in 2019.
Last year, passenger traffic at Greek airports in May increased by 673.4 percent compared to the same period in 2020. The number of international arrivals reached 383,107 passengers, an increase of 4,273 passengers compared to May 2020.
In addition, in August 2022, passenger traffic at the 14 regional airports in Greece increased by 9.4 percent compared to the same period in 2019.