Aeroporto Internazionale di Atene (AIA)

The Project

Athens International Airport
Eleftherios Venizelos 

Athens International Airport
Photo by Hansueli Krapf License: [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (Greek: Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών «Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος», Diethnís Aeroliménas Athinón "Elefthérios Venizélos"), commonly initialised as AIA (IATA: ATH, ICAO: LGAV), is the largest international airport in Greece, serving the city of Athens and region of Attica. It began operation on 28 March 2001 and is the main base of Aegean Airlines, as well as other smaller Greek airlines. Athens International is currently a member of Group 2 of Airports Council International (10–25 million);[2] as of 2019, it is the 26th-busiest airport in Europe.

Source: Wikipedia: Athens International Airport, 9 Nov 2019

Project Description

After delays and slow development, the project was revived in 1991 with the then government launching an international tender for the selection of a build-own-operate-transfer partner for the airport project, with Hochtief of Germany being selected.[6]

In 1996, Athens International Airport S.A. (AIA) was established as a Public–private partnership with a 30-year concession agreement.[1] That same year, the €2.1 billion development finally began with an estimated completion date of February 2001. The airport construction was completed five months before schedule, but was delayed opening a month due to surface connections to Attiki Odos not being completed.[6] The airport officially opened on 28 March 2001.

(Source:, 9 Nov 2019)

This was the largest infrastructure project in the modern history of Greece and up to now the largest international airport construction project on the basis of private financing; the new airport had a total cost of over 2 billion Euro. A German consortium under the leadership of Hochtief and under participation of ABB, Krantz-TKT, J&P, and the Frankfurt Flughafen AG (today: Fraport) planned, financed, and built the airport.

(Source:, 9. Nov. 2019 - our translation)








Financial Advisory

Project Finance

The financing was a project finance deal on the basis of Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT), which means that the securities for the loans were not based on the credit-worthiness of the owners, but on the future cashflow of the project. In the framework of a public-private partnership with the Greek State (45% private/55% public ownership), the airport will be operated over the period of 30 years (including construction time) in the legal form of a private company.

Assignment: Negotiation of the finance package within the framework a 30-year BOT project finance
Client: ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) within a consortium with Hochtief, Krantz-TKT und FraPort
Total project value: 4,118 million  DEM (ca. 2,050 million Euro)
Client part of project value: 890 mn DEM (ca. 445 mn Euro) - ABB, includes Krantz-TKT part

After getting engaged for this project, the total time until reaching financial closing of the BOT project finance deal was about 18 months. The financing of this project was the second largest European project after the Channel Tunnel.


Key Characteristics

Key Data
Coordinates 37° 56′ 11″ N, 23° 56′ 40″ O

37° 56′ 11″ N, 23° 56′ 40″ O | OSM

94 m (308 ft) über MSL

Distance from city center ca. 25 km east of Athens
Road E94
Public transport Proastiakos, Metro, Expressbus, Regionalbus
Basic data
Opening March 2001
Operator Athens International Airport S.A
Size 1244 ha
Passengers 24.135.431[1] (2018) (+11.0%)
Freight volume 90.176 t[1] (2017)
Aircraft movements 217.094[1] (2018) (+10.8%)
(PAX per year)
16 Mio.
Employees 684[2] (2016) (operator)
03R/21L 13,123 ft / 4000 m × 45 m Asphalt
03L/21R 12,467 ft / 3800 m × 45 m Asphalt



Financing Package

The total financing package that was negotiated consisted of:

  • Equity and subordinated debt contribution, provided by the consortium of Hochtief, ABB, Krantz-TKT, and Fraport
  • European Investment Bank (EIB) loan, covering 50% of the project value
  • EU cohesion fund grants
  • Greek Government grants
  • Airport Development Fund of the Greek Government, funded by passenger contributions
  • Loan by a consortium of 9 commercial banks


Financing Package Details (amounts in DEM)
Funds by Consortium members 330 million
# of which equity 247 million
# of which subordinated debt 83 million
Loan by EIB 1 950 million
Grants by EU Cohesion Fund 456 million
Grants by Greek Government 273 million
Airport Development Fund 499 million
Commercial Loan 610 million