Building a greenfield airport when the COVID-19 crisis strikes: Determining recovery strategies

15/09/2021

For International Airport Review, Chief Strategy Officer of the New International Airport of Heraklion, Dr. Ayça Kolukısa, shares the vision for Greece’s new airport and details how the pandemic has influenced strategic decision making to ensure the success and sustainability of Heraklion well into the future.

The new international airport of Heraklion, Crete, is scheduled to commence operations by 2025, replacing the existing Heraklion Airport Nikos Kazantzakis (HER). It will be the second largest airport in Greece, expected to handle up to 18 million passengers during the concession period.

The new international airport of Heraklion, Crete, is scheduled to commence operations by 2025, replacing the existing Heraklion Airport Nikos Kazantzakis

The project was tendered in 2016 by the Greek State. The concessionaires for the following 35 years are the Ariadne Airport Group (a consortium of TERNA Greece (60 per cent) and GMR Airports (40 per cent)), which holds 54 per cent of the shares, and the Greek State, which holds 46 per cent of the shares of the airport company. As part of the concession provisions, the Greek State will finance part of the construction, as well as provide a portion of the aeronautical fees (Airport Development Fees) of the existing airport to the concessionaire.

Between 2016 and 2019, the existing Heraklion Airport achieved a significant traffic increase from six million to 8.2 million, exceeding the most optimistic traffic forecast scenarios and indicating the value of Crete as a touristic destination, with a network of more than 100 airlines in 160 destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa. Such an achievement definitely increases expectations for the new airport and drives the government’s and shareholders’ determination in delivering the most efficient and modern airport in Greece.  

Read the full article here

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