Athens International Airport - 2.3 Airline Marketing Workshop of the Athens International Airport
19 MARCH 2024
2.3 Airline Marketing Workshop of the Athens International Airport

“Let’s make the right move”
 Athens International Airport awarded the fastest growing airlines for the year 2023

Focusing on the art of strategy with the Athens International Airport, the global airport industry, as well as the wider aviation sector “chessboard” looking ahead, the airport’s Airline Marketing Workshop was staged again this year, in the presence of more than 200 attendees. 
Titled "Let's make the right move", AIA’s 2.3 Airline Marketing Workshop took industry professionals to the world of the ultimate strategy game, which is no other than chess, inviting the Athens Airport Community to continue collectively making... "the right move". 
Once again this year, distinguished guest speakers from the fields of aviation, tourism and economy, state-of-the-art technology and digital transformation, turned the eyes of the audience to the strategic decision – making and to the challenges ahead. 
Beyond the areas of the aviation and the economy chain, a special moment of this year’s Workshop was when chess legend Garry Kasparov guided the audience to the "heart" of this year's Conference, the Art of Strategic Thinking. 
With a wide range of topics, as every year, the synthesis of the speakers and the fields they dealt with, unfolded as follows:
The Introduction, the “Arbiter’s Call” as in chess, was as every year made by Mrs. Ioanna Papadopoulou, Director, Communications & Marketing, AIA, followed by the 2023 Athens Market Overview & Outlook - “Τower's Pawn Opening” AIA Airline Marketing & Development Team 
State of the European Airport Industry – “The European Master’s Move” by Mr. Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE 
Experiencing Athens: Visitors' Satisfaction Assessment 2023- “The Athenian Gambit” by Mrs. Maripola Kotsi, Head, Market Insights & Customer Experience, AIA, and Mr. Stefan Merkenhof, GBR Consulting 
Tourism & Travel Market Strategy - 2024 & Beyond – “The Tourism Game”, a discussion with Mr. Dimitris Fragakis, Secretary General, Greek National Tourism Organization, moderated by journalist Mrs. Lila Kountourioti, 
Long Haul market Challenges & Opportunities: The Norse Atlantic Airways Case – “The Norse System”, a discussion with Mr. Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO, Norse Atlantic Airways, moderated by Mrs. Ioanna Papadopoulou, Director, Communications & Marketing, AIA 
The Workshop Talks- “King side castling talks” 
Digital transformation: increasing the odds of success, presented by Dr. Jan Siewert, Senior Manager Digital Transformation, AviAlliance 
Enontekiö Airport, a unique case of airport operations, by Mr. Marko Halla, CEO / Airport Manager, Enontekiö Airport 
IPO- “AIA’s Legendary Move”:
Opening Address by Mr. Michail Kefalogiannis, Chairman of the Board of Directors, AIA 
“Public Markets in 2024 & Beyond: The ATHEX Group case –a discussion with Mrs. Violeta Spyropoulou, President, CFA Society Greece, and Mr. Yianos Kontopoulos, CEO, Athens Exchange Group, moderated by Mr. Eleftheriou Georgios, Manager, Investor Relations, AIA 
Making the Right Move: The Art of Strategic Thinking – “The Scholar’s Mate”, Mr. Garry Kasparov, Former World Chess Champion/ Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation; Author and Public Speaker 
The Workshop’s programme was concluded with the Closing Remarks and a “Check Mate” message of Mr. Yiannis Paraschis, Managing Director (CEO) of Athens International Airport, who referred to the outstanding results of the previous year, and to the exceptional cooperation across the entire Athens airport community in 2023, with the airport managing to significantly exceed not only the performance of 2022, but also to surpass the previous record of the pre-pandemic year 2019. In the context of his highlights of international challenges, among which geopolitical volatility and digital transformation, Mr. Paraschis placed special emphasis again this year to the major issue of the environment, elaborating on the next goals of the Athens International Airport to win the big bet of sustainability.


The Workshop included, as every year, the annual AIA awards presented to the airlines with the most successful development in 2023. Athens International Airport once again awarded the airlines that recorded the fastest growth during the previous year, recording significant growth rates and increased passenger traffic on their scheduled services to and from Athens. 

The airlines’ awards for the 2023 performance, were:
Fastest Growing Airline in the Domestic Market
Winner: AEGEAN 
Highly Commended: SKY express
Fastest Growing Airline in Western Europe
Winner: ITA Airways 
Highly Commended: SKY express
Fastest Growing Airline in Eastern Europe
Winner: Wizz Air 
Highly Commended: Air Serbia
Fastest Growing Airline in the Middle East 
Winner: Wizz Air
Highly Commended: Qatar Airways
Fastest Growing Airline in Africa
Winner: AEGEAN
Highly Commended: EGYPTAIR
Fastest Growing Airline in Asia
Winner: Scoot
Highly Commended: Air China
Fastest Growing Airline in America
Winner: Emirates
Fastest Growing Airline on a seasonal route / Europe
Winner: Jet2
Highly Commended: Norwegian
Fastest Growing Airline on a seasonal route / America
Winner: Delta Air Lines
Highly Commended: Air Canada
“Best of the Top 10 Airlines” Award for 2023
Winner: Wizz Air 
Overall Traffic Performance Award for 2023
Winner: AEGEAN 
Highly Commended: SKY express
This year’s airline awards were presented with in the creative way of actors Dimitris Makalias and Zissis Roubos. 
AIA’s special award «You’re An AΘenian, too!» was presented to Mr. Stefan Merkenhof, GBR Consulting, for his contribution for many years, surveying the Athenian chessboard of visitors!


Ioanna Papadopoulou, Director of Communication & Marketing of AIA, stated: 
"With great pleasure, as always, and - primarily with Strategic Thinking this year - we were delighted to organize the airport’s annual flagship event with this year’s concept being “The Art of Strategy” and the game of chess under the slogan "Let's make the right move!”. We welcomed our airline partners and guest speakers to the ... "Chess Academy" we prepared in Zappeion, to explore together, trends, opportunities and challenges, and to share the strategic thinking and experience of distinguished speakers!”
The reciprocal and efficient relationship enjoyed with our airline partners is characterized by the energy and spirit of excellent cooperation. Looking ahead, we once again express our sincere thanks to the airlines and we remain committed to continuing the strong relationship that we have built through the years."


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