Athens International Airport (AIA) which is situated about 20 km east of Athens was officially opened in March 2001, after five years of construction at a total cost of around $2.8bn. The airport is named after Elefthérios Venizélos, a well known Cretan politician and prime minister of Greece of the 19th century.

The owner of the Greenfield airport is Athens International Airport SA, with 55% of shares held by the Greek state, and the rest owned by a private consortium, led by German construction company Hochtief.

Today, AIA is one of the major gateways to Southeastern Europe and forms a unique entrepreneurial entity of economic and social development in the Attica basin. Over 13,000 people are employed as part of the airport community which consists of more than 300 companies closely connected to AIA and contributes to its smooth operation. Meanwhile, the Athens Airport City is one of the biggest employment engines in Greece, contributing over 2.70% GDP to the national and local economy.

Being the 27th busiest airport in Europe with projections set to rise, given the 10%+ increase in traffic yearly, the airport is in the process of getting bigger and better.


AIA’s Cargo Development Department oversees all freight and mail handling activities at Athens Airport. It acts as the coordinator and facilitator of the airport’s cargo community and spearheads the development and marketing activities of any new cargo relevant projects.

The key to success is the spirit of cooperation and synergy among all members of the local cargo community achieved through an efficient communication vehicle under our leadership, the Airport Cargo Community Committee (ACCC).

A living supply chain comprising all members of the local cargo community including all involved state authorities has been established, with the joint goal to work towards the further development of the regional market. This collaborative business approach combined with a competitive operational framework and high standards of services guarantee the fulfilment of clients’ needs.


Strategic position

  • Southeastern Gateway to Europe
  • Proximity to Port of Piraeus
  • Fast access to the Balkans

Functional environment

  • 24-hour airport operation
  • 2 independent runways
  • Increased usufruct period (up to 2045)

Competitive services

  • Dedicated cargo community, single point of contact
  • Multimodal transport potential
  • Incentives for cargo flights

Synergies and collaborations

  • Athens Airport Cargo Community Committee
  • Networking for new developments
  • Joint promotion of Athens Airport cargo services

Operations: Infrastructure and Services

Right at the start of airport operations in 2001, we introduced a competitive cargo environment in line with the European and the Greek Ground Handling legislation.

Our modern and functional facilities boast:

  • 4 on-airport cargo terminals
  • 275,000 tonnes capacity
  • 30,000 sq mtoperational area
  • 2 third-party cargo handlers servicing all airlines
  • Goldair Handling (Cargo Terminal 2)
  • Skyserv Handling (Cargo Terminal 1)
  • DHL Express Distribution Center (Cargo Terminal 4)
  • Fedex/TNT and UPS stand-alone facilities in the vicinity; on-airport handled within Cargo Terminals 1 and 2
  • Airmail Center (bonded mail handling by Greek Postal Services)
  • EU Border Inspection Post for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control (operated by the Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Cargo Administration Building (Customs and freight forwarders’ offices on-site)

Our cargo community members offer a variety of services that include:

  • Bonded storage
  • Refrigerated and deep-freeze storage
  • Dangerous goods/radioactive material storage and handling
  • Valuables storage and handling
  • Special cargo handling
  • Express services and road feeder (RFS)/truck services operations handling
  • 12-hour Customs operation for all shipments and 24-hour availability for shipments of immediate delivery such as PER and AVI
  • 100% screening of outbound cargo
  • ‘Regulated Agent’ status of the cargo handlers and the operators of the Distribution Center and the Airmail Center

Freighter Movement

Scheduled cargo flights connect Athens Airport with domestic and international destinations:

  • All major integrators (DHL, Fedex/TNT and UPS) operate on weekdays.
  • Local cargo airline (Swiftair Hellas) provides feeder services.

Excellence Monitoring

Striving for cargo quality services and operational efficiency, the standardisation and enhancement of physical and document flows has always been our top priority. Relevant projects include:

  • Voluntary service-level agreement with the cargo handlers for the monitoring of minimum service delivery standards for imports.
  • Introduction of an annual cargo – Key Performance Index demonstrating the handling performance.
  • Appointment of a cargo community customs advisor assisting in the simplification of customs procedures and the accurate and on-time information on new customs rules and regulations developments.

Environmental Monitoring

AIA’s commitment to environmental protection goes hand in hand with innovation. That’s why in 2016, the airport partnered with a Greek company- Ex Machina specialising in IoT prediction analytics, in order to explore innovative solutions to enrich AIA’s environmental monitoring, analysis and reporting.

Development Opportunities

We have always placed a strong emphasis on preserving and further increasing existing traffic as well as expanding to new markets by creating new, mainly transit flows. Business growth and expansion opportunities include:

  • 24-hour availability for the operation of cargo flights (no slot or night constraints)
  • Provision of financial incentives for new scheduled cargo flights
  • Potential for introduction of RFS services to the Balkans (transit cargo)
  • Potential for sea-air transportation services through the standardisation of flows with both Piraeus Port operator (Cosco Group)
  • Upgraded facilities for the handling of pharmaceuticals (IATA CEIV Pharma certification expected)
  • 1 idle (Cargo Terminal 3) handling possibility


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