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Ryanair – Athens Airport clash over decreases in fees and taxes

Low cost airline Ryanair promised to bring 10 million tourists to Greece within the next three years, should Athens airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” reduce taxes and fees. The intentions and promises were table on Tuesday by deputy CEO and director of Ryanair business operation manager Michael Cawley during a press conference.

Ryanair asked Elfetherios Venizelos to decrease the tax from current 12 euro per passenger down to 5 euro and bring it down to zero in other, peripheral airports.

Cawley described the tax policy of Athens International Airport as the “biggest problem for the tourism growth in the Greek capital, as it remains “very expensive and uncompetitive with other European countries.” He also expressed fears that the upcoming privatizations in regional airports in Greece would lead to charge increases and make them uncompetitive too.

Ryanair’s promise is to bring four million tourists in Athens, two million in Thessaloniki and four million in the rest of Greece within the next three years. The low cost airline calculated that these 10 million tourists would translate into 4.5 billion revenues for the Greek tourism sector and 10,000 new jobs.

In a calculation made by the deputy chief executive of Ryanair, these arrivals translated into a tourist currency EUR 4.5 billion and 10,000 new jobs.

Michael Cawley noted that Ryanair will present this plan to Greek development minister.

AIA rejects Ryanair proposal

The answer from Athens International Airport came indeed very quickly. In a short statement it rejected the Ryanair proposals for tax and fee decrease saying:

“AIA has chosen to actively support the airlines investing in ongoing, long-term presence, aiming at development.

This business plan is not conform with the practices of Ryanair, that follows a policy of growth through regional airports, where it does not invest in long-terms. This practice, particularly in smaller markets, like the Greek one, leads to “cannibalization” of existing drive with direct negative effects on existing companies, which have invested in permanent presence.

Athens airport operates on a particular business model, like all international metropolitan airports, based on developing and maintaining long term relationships with carriers,” the statement said.

Will Greek development minister Kostis Hatzidakis take the risk and accept Ryanair proposals? It remains to be seen in near or far future.
sources: newsit, naftemporiki

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8 comments

  1. There is only one answer to this, look at their record, and read the book “Lying Air”. both will tell you that AIA is right. Not necessarily in their tax policies, but most definiely in keeping Ryan Air at arms length.

  2. I guess Greece will have to decide if they want to lose a percentage (large I suspect) of these tourists to other more competitive countries with similar or better service and facilities. A shame that the same ole “Edo Ellada” mentality persists.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      it doesn’t have to do with Greek mentality, but with business plans & concepts. it’s Ryanair policy to press for more. it was waived goodbye also from other airports across Europe. Large percentage? lol
      Cawley said, Ryanair has as Greek base Chania airport, to where he estimates to transfer 500K passengers from/to per year. This maintain 500 jobs, he said and also calculated this half million passengers will bring revenues 160 million euro.

      • I guess time will tell, but I’ve always enjoyed Ryanair no-nonsense approach, cheap flights, etc, but will admit sometimes people are drunk on those flights.

  3. the stories about mick o’leary abound in ireland he went into a dublin pub for a pint and the barman asked for one euro ‘thats very cheap says the ryanair chief’ oh we had to reduce our prices because of the austerity’ oh i notice you did not bring your own glass that will cost 2.50e and when he went to sit down he was told there was a seating charge and a table charge and of course when he went to visit the toilet ect ect

  4. i notice since aegean airways have taken over olympic that the price from athens to heraklion has gone up up whatever we think about ryanair we would be paying 200e to london just like we are being forced to pay to heraklion from athens now competition is the life of trade!!

  5. it costs me the same to fly to heraklion from athens as it does to fly from dublin to athens no brainer!!