IACA Assembly: Greece recognises aviation’s contribution to tourism. Europe should do the same

Source: IACA


IACA's Assembly took place last week in Athens, Greece - the perfect location to discuss the vital contribution of aviation to tourism since one in five jobs in the country depends on the tourism sector.

The air transport industry contributes €5.7 billion annually to Greek GDP.  This total comprises: €3.3 billion directly contributed through the output of the aviation sector (airlines, airports and ground services, aerospace)*.

The IACA Assembly discussed a range of international, European and local issues which impact on aviation's ability to boost tourism.

There was a robust discussion on the state of the Single European Sky project. The European Commission, Eurocontrol and ENAV (representing Air Navigation Service Providers) debated ways to move the project forward while Member States continue to undermine the vital performance regulation.

At a more local level, Eurocontrol, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authorities and IACA airlines praised last year's Hellenic Airport Trial, which succeeded in improving air traffic management in Greece during the last summer season. The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority and other stakeholders hope to continue this strong co-operation this year.

IACA members were particularly encouraged by the support shown for the aviation sector in Greece by the Minister of Transport, Mr Kostis Hatzidakis and the Minister for Tourism, Ms Olga Kefalogianni, who both spoke at the Assembly. Airlines welcomed the projects they announced to help improve services for air carriers flying to and from Greece.

IACA's President and COO of Jetairfly, Gunther Hofman, said Europe should follow Greece's example when it comes to supporting aviation.

"Aviation is a key engine for tourism, especially in Greece and a vital source of growth and jobs during difficult economic times.”

“The Greek government and the HCAA are taking crucial initiatives to create a positive environment for aviation and tourism in Greece. This must now be replicated at the European level.”

“European policymakers must understand that costly policies such as the European Emissions Trading System, EU passenger rights as well as the disarray in the European air traffic management system could damage airlines' ability to contribute to tourism in Europe, costing vital jobs and growth."

The IACA Assembly was kindly sponsored by Athens International Airport, Aither CO2, Chania Chamber of Commerce, Goldair Handling, the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens, the Greek National Tourism Organisation, Olympic Handling and Securitas.


* Oxford Economics, 2011: “Economic Benefits from Air Transport in Greece”