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Also known as Athens International, Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is the busiest airport in Greece and the main gateway to exploring the sights of Athens. Built for the 2004 Olympics and opened in 2001, the airport is widely regarded as one of the most efficient and attractive airports in Europe. Situated in the Spata suburb 27 kilometres east of the city centre, it’s a hub for Aegean Airlines, Ryanair and Olympic Air.
Flights from Eleftherios Venizelos Airport head to most of the world’s continents, with direct services to North America, the Middle East and Asia. There is one main terminal where all the check-in desks are located, spread across two halls. Hall B caters for flights to all intra-Schengen countries while Hall A is for all other destinations. A satellite terminal is used whenever the airport requires additional capacity, notably for summer charters within Europe. Along with the typical airport facilities such as a food court and shopping centre, there’s a small museum on the top floor. This contains an exhibit on the history of Athens as well as temporary exhibitions of items that showcase ancient Greece.
The airport has a railway station that is on the Athens Metro and suburban train network. The Metro line takes 40 minutes into the city centre and is good for all central districts. It’s also possible to travel by express bus. Taxis wait outside the arrivals hall, and there is flat rate fee for the journey into the city centre, with a surcharge applied for rides at night.
Eleftherios Venizelos Airport replaced the old Athens International Airport, or Ellinikon, which had exceeded its capacity. It’s taken over the old initials to be known as AIA.
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