AEGEAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES
INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONVENTION 1997 “TOURISM AT INSULAR AREAS AND SPECIAL DESTINATIONS”
Dr Yiannis S. Lainos
Associate Professor (ΠΔ.407/1981) University of Thessaly.
School of Political Engineers
Sector of Traffic engineers
THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE HELLENIC AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY ΤO THE TOURISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE HELLENIC ISLANDS.
The case study of islands :
The majority of the incoming and outgoing international tourists to Hellenic islands with international airports, uses charter flights .
This fact proves that the air transport industry dominates the touristic transportation of the Hellenic islands covered by airport (incoming and outgoing) .
Almost all of these flights are served by non Hellenic air carriers.
Although the transportation is included in a touristic package, the aforementioned fact discriminates the service supplied on board the airplane from the touristic product supplied by the Hellenic islands
The two aforementioned facts explain why the participation of the Hellenic air transport industry to the touristic service supplied by the Hellenic islands, has been limited only to the services supplied by the airport of those islands
The importance of the quality of services supplied at an airport, compared with the final touristic product supplied by the Hellenic island, is that this quality is the first and last impression created to the tourists.
The contribution of the air transport industry to the touristic development of the Hellenic islands is not only quantitative but also qualitative, because the existence of an airport on an island :
a) orientates the touristic development of this island to a certain model
b) affects the model of touristic development of the satellite islands (the islands of the wider area that is influenced by the airport of the dominant island).
c) affects the number of the population
d) Forces the transformation of the infra and over structure of the local societies to a certain orientation.
The aim of the present paper is the definition of the quality level of services supplied by the Hellenic insular airports and its impact on the touristic development of the Hellenic islands.
3. AUTHOR’S CONTRIBUTION
The author’s contribution is focused on:
a) the definition of the quality determinants of the services provided by the airport
b) the determination of the malfunctions of the Hellenic insular airports
c) the determination of the impact that the quality level of the services supplied at the Hellenic insular airports has on the touristic development of the wider region
d) the methodology used that may also be applied on any other similar case
4. Brief theoretical approach
– From the hundreds of islands of the Hellenic seas, 28 of them have airports as well as ports for short sea vessels. Almost half of these airports are international.
– The government, to support the regional and especially the touristic developmental model applied for the certain islands during the last four decades, constructed these international airports.
– The service of transportation is included –among others- in a touristic package
– Almost 85%- of the incoming and outgoing international tourists to and from Hellenic islands having international airports, uses the airplane charter flights (AIR EUROPE, AIR HOLLAND, AIR MONARCH, AIR TOURS, AIR 2000, BRITANIA, HAPAC LLOYD, LTU, MAERSK, PREMIER.e.t.c).
– Almost all of the charter flights to and from Hellenic Islands are served by non Hellenic air carriers.
– This is the reason why the product supplied on board the airplane is not included in the touristic product offered by the Hellenic islands.
– Consequently the contribution of the Hellenic air transport industry to the touristic product offered by the Hellenic islands to the incoming foreign tourists,is reduced only to the services offered by the insular airports
4.2. Productive process of the airport services supplied to passengers and airplanes
There are numerous services supplied to airplanes and passengers at the airport. These services are divided in two categories.
Those supplied by the airport authorities and those supplied by the ground handling companies.
However, the aforementioned categorization is not uniform for all the airports. The differentiation is due to the level of deregulation-liberalization of the airline industry applied by the government of the country where the airport belongs, which affects the ownership regime of the airport (state or private)
The Hellenic air transport industry is presently in a process of liberalization, during which the old and the new coexist.
All Hellenic airports are state owned with the exemption of the new Athens airport. Consequently the Air Traffic Control System services are provided by the airport authorities, which belong to the Ministry of Transportation.
In the majority of the insular airports, the main or the unique supplier of ground handling services (to passengers and airplane) is Olympic Airways, the Hellenic national carrier according to Chicago convention
The stages of arrival and departure of passengers and airplanes as well as the services supplied are presented below.
1. TEMPORARILY PARKING- DISEMBARKATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION MEDIA
2.PERMANENT PARKING OF THE TRANSPORTATION MEDIA
3.WAY TO NON SUBJECT WAITING LOUNGE.
ACCESSIBILITY TO THE SERVICES OF :
INFORMATION OFFICE, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, POST OFFICE,
BANKS, RESTAURANTS, BARS, RENT CARS, RESERVATION OF HOTEL ROOMS, SEATS TO THE TRANSPORTATION MEDIA, THEATERS ETC
4.ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHECK IN COMMENCEMENT.
CHECK IN SERVICES INCLUDE:
a) CONTROL OF RESERVATION, TICKET, VISA, VACCINATION, PASSPORT
b) BOARDING PASS ISSUANCE
c) TAG ISSUANCE AND STICKING IT ON THE LUGGAGE AND ON THE TICKET
d) LUGGAGE WEIGHT CONTROL
e) ISSUANCE OF MISCELLANEOUS CHARGES ORDER GOOD FOR EXCESS (to pay for the excess weight of the luggage)
f) LUGGAGE, CARGO SECURITY CONTROL
5. ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE NUMBER OF BOARDING GATE
6. CONTROL OF PASSENGERS BY THE STATE AUTHORITIES, ON THEIR WAY TO THE WAITING LOUNGE (SUBJECTED AREA):
EXCHANGE CONTROL (for destinations other than E.U. countries)
BODY CONTROL (including hand-bags)
7. PASSENGERS ACCESSIBILITY AT DUTY FREE SHOPS USE (for destinations other than E.U. countries)
8. ANNOUNCEMENT FOR STARTING BOARDING
9. BOARDING PASS AND HAND BAGS DIMENSIONS CONTROL ON THE EXIT GATE
10. PASSENGERS TRANSFER TO THE AIRPLANE BY EITHER RAMP BUS OR AIR BRIDGE
11. PASSENGERS BOARDING PASS CONTROL BEFORE BOARDING
12. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL CLEARANCE FOR:
1.GUIDELINES TO THE AIRPLANE FROM AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL
FOR SAFE APPROACH TO THE AIRPORT
2.CLEARANCE TO THE AIRPLANE FROM CONTROL TOWER FOR SAFE LANDING
3.LANDING-TAXIING-PARKING OF THE AIRPLANE
4.PASSENGERS DISEMBARKATION AND TRANSFER TO THE ARRIVAL LOUNGE WITH RAMP BUS OR THROUGH AIR BRIDGE
5.PASSPORTS CONTROL (only for non SENGEN passengers)
6.IMPORT EXCHANGE CONTROL PROCEDURES (optionally for E.U. passengers)
7.ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE NUMBER OF LUGGAGE BELT IN ORDER
8.LUGGAGE TAKING OVER
9.REQUEST FOR COMPENSATION BY THE PASSENGER AGAINST THE AIR CARRIER DUE TO LOST OR DAMAGE LUGGAGE
10 CUSTOM CONTROL (indicated for non E.U. passengers, obligatory for others)
11.SETTLEMENT OF THE TAXES (in case of relatively charge from custom control)
12 .DEPARTURE FOR THE FINAL DESTINATION WITH THE AVAILABLE PUBLIC, PRIVATE OR AIR CARRIERS TRANSPORTATION MEDIA NOTE
ALL SERVICES-FACILITIES OFFERED AT THE AIRPORT TO THE DEPARTING PASSENGERS ARE AVAILABLE TO THE ARRIVING AS WELL WITH EXCEPTION OF DUTY FREE
4.3. Services supplied to airplane and passengers at the airport
4.3.1. Services supplied to airplane
Safety, control tower, runway, “follow me”, parking lots, fire brigade,
ground handling commercial-technical
stairs, refueling, rewatering, cleaning, catering, loading – unloading, luggage delivery, technical inspection
4.3.2. Services supplied to passengers
Safety, custom office, check in, transfer, security, toilets, telecommunication, post office, bank, duty free shops (for non E.U. Citizens), car rent, hotel reservation, medical, transportation media, parking area for transportation media (out of the airport), accessibility to the airport (roads)
4.4. Concerning the quality of services supplied by an airport
4.4.1. Definition of quality
The characteristics or properties of the product that satisfy every ascertained or assumed (through market research) need of the consumer
4.4.2. Criteria determining the quality of services supplied by the airport
1) Environmental determinants (the usual weather conditions, mountains etc.)
2) The technology and size of the airplanes (existing and forecasted)
3) The technology (existing and forecasted) of the airport facilities
4) The developmental model of the wider region
5) The volume and the allocation of the passengers demand (existing and forecasted)
6) The market segment of the passengers on whom the developmental model of the region is applied
7) The seasonality of the demand traffic (existing and forecasted)
8) The social reactions
9) The construction and the operational cost, the financing sources–abilities and the expected revenues – depreciation.
4.4.3. Analytical Quality criteria of the services supplied by an airport
1) Safety operational level of the airport
2) Daily working hours
3) Adequacy level of Air Transport Control services
4) Dimensions and operational condition of runway
5) Adequacy level of parking lots for a/c (peak season)
6) Adequacy of the number, technological level and operational condition of the ground handling media -peak season- (stairs, tractors, loading-unloading media, bowzers e..t.c.)
7) Adequacy of the available space for passengers service of the terminal buildings
8) Adequacy of the airport information systems (TV monitors, megaphones etc.)
9) Operational and technical conditions of the terminal buildings
10) Innovation and cleaning level of the terminal buildings
11) Facilities offered to passengers in the terminal buildings
12) Adequacy of the number and training level of the employees
13) Politeness, willingness and cleanliness level of the employees
14) Adequacy of permanent and long time parking place for ground transportation media out of the airport
15) Availability level of ground transportation media connecting airport with the town
16) Number, dimensions and conditions of the roads connecting airport with the town
5. The Hellenic reality
5.1. The airplane domination on passenger transport of certain islands
The airplane dominates on the transportation of the incoming tourists to the Hellenic touristic islands due to:
– the geographical structure between Europe, origin of 76% of the total
incoming tourists and Hellenic islands, that makes impossible the use of other fast transportation media (p.e. TGV).
– the time needed for an “allez-retour” transportation by car or bus on a ferry boat through Italy and from Piraeus to the islands , is approximately six days for tourists originating from Europe.
– The political circumstances which made the route through Yugoslavia impossible although this route would decrease the above transportation time only for 25%.
– The cost of a charter round trip by airplane is significantly less than the
cost of a six days travel by car. It is very impressive that the cost of a six days trip by bus including ticket, food, hotel and other expenses per person is almost equal to the price of a package of
ten half board overnight stays in a Hellenic island including the cost of charter flight.
– Tourists with origin other than Europe have no other alternative than the airplane.
These are the reasons why the majority-more than the 85%- of the (incoming and outgoing) international tourists to and from the Hellenic islands having international airports, uses the airplane (charter flights)
The domination of the aircraft on the transportation of some Hellenic islands and, through that, the orientation of these economies to the touristic development brought the following essential changes to the local societies:
1) Increased the population number
2) Increased the G.D.P.
3) forced many members of local population to abandon their traditional occupations (agriculture etc.) and orientated them to professions relative to tourism
4) introduced a modern life style undermining the traditional life style and society structure, the customs and finally the human relations among the members of these societies starting from those in the family.
5) Changed the utilisation of the land and generally deteriorated and burdened the natural environment
5.2. Approaching the operational particularities of a Hellenic insular airport
1) The Hellenic government selects the islands on which an airport will be constructed, using as criteria its contribution to the touristic development of the wider area
2) Consequently these airports enjoy a quasi-monopolistic position
3) Due to the state ownership regime and the quasi-monopolistic position that enjoy the insular Hellenic airports, the following problems arise concerning :
a) the evaluation criteria used for the operational efficiency,
b) the pricing policy applied
c) the evaluation criteria used for the quality level of the services supplied at the airport
4) The majority of the incoming tourists participates on a tour operator package
5) The airport handling cost –for airplane and passengers -is part of the touristic package cost
6) Since the cost of the package is a basic determinant of the demand level, the government applies an airport pricing policy to attract the touristic demand. These are the reasons for which the ground handling charges at insular airports especially for charter flights, usually does not reflect the total cost of these airports (not only the variable but the standard cost as well, including investments depreciation).
7) Consequently the operation of the insular airports and the island’s touristic development linked with it are often subsidised by the tax payers and not by the users of its services, that is by those that take advantage of the incoming through the airport tourism.
8) Of course the existence of the airport contributes decisively to the touristic development of the island with all the micro and macroeconomic advantages (foreign exchange, employment etc)
But. According to our investigation there does not exist any research-study concerning the economic results (final global cost, revenues) from the airports operation and the contribution of the airport to the touristic development of the wider region.
5.3. Evaluating the quality of services supplied by the Hellenic insular airports
The operational problems of the Hellenic insular airports are not the same for all of them, because the operational conditions are different
The present operational evaluation of the quality level and the adequacy of the services supplied by the Hellenic insular airports, is based on the opinions of:
– the pilots users of these airports
– the passengers users of these airports
– the local society (mayors, professional organizations, mainly of the hotel owners and the Tour Agents and tour Operators users of these airports)
– staff members of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authorities
– staff members of Olympic Airways
Furthermore the current evaluation is based on the demand during peak season, when more than 50% of the annual traffic of the island is transported
Some remarks upon the aforementioned evaluation.
1) When local society requests expansion of the capacity of the existing airport, this does not necessarily represent the opinion of all citizens. For example opposition is expressed by those who will lose their land because of the expansion of the runway or by those who are disturbed by the noise of the aircrafts especially during night flights
2) Furthermore the local society does not want to participate to the cost of the construction or the expansion of the airport arguing that this will burden the cost of their product and finally their competitiveness will be decreased. Similar reactions appear on the tour operators’ side.
3) The background of the passengers expressing their opinion upon the quality of services offered by a certain Hellenic island airport is not uniform because they do not come from the same market segment. The same airport is used by upper income level passengers (individuals with an average of US$ 300 expenses per
diem) as well as by medium and lower level (members of groups with an average of US$ 30 expenses per diem).
4) For the purpose of the present paper the problems are considered cumulatively which means that perhaps there is not any Hellenic insular airport that faces all these malfunctions simultaneously.
5.4. Problems concerning the quality of services supplied by the Hellenic insular airports
The main problems of the Hellenic insular airports are focused generally on the capacity of the airport, ground handling quantity and quality services to airplanes and passengers, capacity and cleanliness of the terminal buildings, technological level and operational conditions of the media used, quality of services offered by the employees, accessibility to the airport and parking space.
The problems mentioned below do not refer neither to all insular airports nor to all employees. They are indicative problems that have appeared in all insular Hellenic airports during the last decade.
The aforementioned general problems can be analysed as follows:
1) Although the new technology Air Traffic Control System has been installed, it has not operated as yet system-wide.
2) Inadequate dimensions of runway.
3) Inadequate number of airplane parking lots
4) Inadequate preparation for successfully preventing and handling incidents-accidents (number and operational conditions of the available media organisation and training of the employees etc)
5) Inadequate number of ground handling media used in inefficient operational conditions and technologically old fashioned (stairs, tractors, loading-unloading media, bowzers -refueling etc)
6) Inadequate space available for passengers’ service at terminal buildings
7) Inadequate number of employees for passengers’ service at terminal buildings and for ground handling
8) Inadequate number, training level and knowledge by the employees of their working object.
9) Inadequate knowledge by the employees of the rules of efficient communication.
10) Inadequate level of politeness, willingness and cleanliness of the employees
11) Negative impression from the condition of airport furniture, buildings etc
12) Inadequate cleanliness level generally.
13) Inadequate number, facilities and cleanliness level of the airport toilets
14) Inadequate level of services at the airport medical center
15) Inadequate and inefficient passenger information system (sound and visual units)
16) Inadequate level of telecommunication services offered at the airport
17) Inadequate number and operational level of the media used (luggage belt, trolleys etc)
18) Inadequate space for permanent and temporary car parking outside the airport
19) Inadequate number, dimensions and conditions of the roads connecting the airport with the town.
20) Inadequate provision for persons with special abilities
We must underline that many users have been protesting repeatedly in the recent past against the aforementioned problems not only to the authorised public services but even through the Hellenic and foreign press.
We consider the presentation of the operational problems of the Hellenic insular airports, our main contribution towards overcoming these malfunctions, for the benefit of the development of the Hellenic tourism and towards upgrading the international reputation of Hellas.
6. The case study of islands: CHIOS, KASTELORIZO, RHODES SKIATHOS
6.1. Selection criteria of these islands
As sources for the data of the present research have been used the Statistic Departments of:
a) The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authorities
b) The Hellenic Ministry of Mercantile Marine
e) Personal field research at the local societies, mainly municipal and professional
Organisations (hotel owners, travel agents)
Searched period :
– for the airports and ports, the decade 1989-1998
– for the development of the population and the economic structure of local societies
the decades 1971-1991
The evaluation of the quality of services supplied by each insular island is based on the opinions of the local municipal and professional organisations of the hotel owners and travel agents.
6.2. Profile of the selected islands
– The island has int’l airport. The contribution of the airplane to the touristic development compared to that of the short sea ship is weak. 49% of the total annual number of airport passengers concerns domestic scheduled flights, while the rest 51% concerns international charter flights. ( FIGURE 1)
– The dimensions of the runway are 1.500 m Χ 30m. The local society considers them inadequate for the touristic development. of the island.
– The area of the terminal building is 980 m2.
– The airplane passengers traffic follows a downward tendency (from 37% at 1989 to 31% at 1998) of the total annual island traffic while the short sea ship passen- gers traffic follows an upward trend – from 63% to 68% during the forementioned period. ( FIGURE 2)
– During the four months of peak season, from June to September the island has about 47% of its total annual airport passengers traffic, which represents only 60% of the airport traffic of other touristic islands during the same period. ( FIGURE 3)
– The total annual airport passengers traffic is equally divided (50%-50%) between domestic scheduled and international charter flights.
– The population number of the island follows a downward tendency – 6,7 % from 1971 to 1991
– The structure of the economy during the examined period has developed as follows
1971 1981 1991
PRIMARY SECTOR 41,69% 32,15% 16,3%
SECONDARY SECTOR 19,75% 21,05% 17,7%
TERTIARY SECTOR 38,56% 46,80% 66,0%
Although the touristic development of Chios island is essentially lower than that of Rhodes island, the tertiary sector in Chios is almost at the same level as that of Rhodes,
The reason for that enlargement is, according to our research, due to the fact that a great percentage of the population is orientated to sea professions (sailors etc)
6.2.2. Kastelorizo :
– It is a small island near Rhodes. (satellite of Rhodes)
– It has a small domestic airport
– The dimensions of the runway are 799m Χ 25m
– The area of the terminal building is 1.463 m2
– The air transport industry has minor contribution to the touristic development compared to the short sea ship The airplane (mainly scheduled domestic flights) covers round 40% of the total annual passengers traffic, while the short sea ship covers round 60% (
– The airport passengers traffic concerns only domestic flights . 65% of the total annual airport passengers traffic concerns the four months of peak season from June to September.
– The population number of the island follows from 1971 to 1991 an upward tendency +2,5 %
– There are not available data concerning the structure of the economy during the examined period.
– The island has int’l airport with dominant contribution of the airplane to the touristic development compared to that of the short sea ship
– The dimensions of the runway are 3250m X 45m
– The dimensions of the terminal building are 24500 m2
– The airplane covers more than 80% of the total annual passengers traffic while the short sea ships cover less than 20%
– A percentage of round 80% of the aforementioned airport passengers traffic is covered by int’l charter flights.
– 65% of the total annual airport passengers traffic concerns the four months of peak season from June to September.
– The population of the island follows an impressively upward tendency + 47 % from 1971 to 1991
RHODES ISLAND AIRPORT
– The structure of the economy during the examined period was developed as follows
1971 1981 1991
PRIMARY SECTOR 29,80% 9,66% 5,5%
SECONDARY SECTOR 25,96% 23,30% 20,0%
TERTIARY SECTOR 44,26% 67,03% 64,6%
From the aforementioned data it becomes obvious that the specific model of touristic development, forces (economically) the population to abandon the primary sector of economy and orientates it towards the tertiary sector (services).
– Has int’l airport with dominant contribution of the short sea ship to the touristic
development compared to that of the airplane
– The dimensions of the runway are 1570mx30m
– The dimensions of the terminal building are 2000 m2
– The airplane covers round 40% of the total annual island passengers traffic while
the short sea ship covers round 60% ( FIGURE 9)
– The participation of the domestic scheduled flights has been following a downward tendency – from more than 20% in 1989 to less than 10% in 1998, while a percentage floating from 80% in 1989 to more than 90% in 1998 of the aforementioned airport passengers traffic is covered by int’l charter flights. ( FI- GURE 10)
– 80% of the total annual airport passengers traffic concerns the four months of peak season from June to September. FIGURE 11)
– The population of the island follows from 1971 to 1991 an impressively upward tendency + 31 %
SKIATHOS ISLAND AIRPORT
– The structure of the economy during the examined period has developed as follows
PRIMARY SECTOR 19,0 % 7,9%
SECONDARY SECTOR 21,7 % 29,4%
TERTIARY SECTOR 59,3 % 62,7%
1) There are three categories of Hellenic touristic islands according to the criteria of contribution of the air transport industry to their touristic development
a) islands with international airport with domination of the airplane on the incoming tourism. Their development is based mainly on foreign tourism.
b) islands with international airports with domination of the short sea ship on the incoming tourism. Their development is based mainly on domestic tourism.
c) satellite islands, the touristic development of which is based on the touristic development of a bigger neighboring island (regional metropolis)
2) The contribution of the Hellenic air transport industry to the touristic product supplied by the Hellenic islands to the incoming foreign tourists, is limited only to services supplied by the insular airports.
3) The quality of services supplied by the Hellenic insular airports is non-compatible with the advanced needs of the incoming passengers belonging to those market segments to which the developmental model of the touristic islands is applied.
4) The government has constructed the airports of the Hellenic islands, whose development was planned to be based on the incoming international tourism, in order to support that developmental target. This is why their operation is subsidised by the taxpayers and not by the users.
5) The state ownership and the operational criteria (the airports used as a tool of application of the governmental regional policy) are some of the causes of the aforementioned malfunctions of these airports.
6) The airport traffic of the touristic islands is strongly seasonal. During the four months of peak season, from June to September, it fluctuates round the 65 % of the total annual airport traffic, while the traffic at the non-touristic insular international airports represents only 45%.
7) The existence of these airports has the same impact on the local societies as the domination of the tourism :
a) Accelerated the upgrading of the life quality level
b) Orientated the population to the tertiary sector of economy (services) mainly abandoning the primary sector
c) replaced traditional occupations with those related to tourism,
d) burdened the utilization of the natural environment
1) Hellenic Civil Aviation Authorities Statistic service
2) Hellenic Civil Aviation Authorities Technical Department
3) Hellenic Ministry of Mercantile Marine Statistic service
*4) Hellenic Statistic Service
5) Lainos J.S. “Air Transport Economics in an International Competitive Environment” Editions STAMOULIS Athens 1995 B! Edition 1999.
6) Lainos J.S “The impact of Air Transport on the development of the Hellenic Tourism” Article in the volume “Hellenic Tourism. Myths and Reality” Editions ANUBIS Athens 1996
7) I.A.T.A. A.H.M. .Annex A 4/1984