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Lufthansa says low cost moves will hit 2016 profit

Νίκος Καραγιάννης



Lufthansa reined in earnings expectations for this year saying it faces tough cut-price competition. The German airline group is predicting only slightly higher profit with lower average fares as it ramps up its Eurowings budget business.

That is in response to low cost rivals such as Ryanair and easyJet adding more flights in Europe and especially Germany which puts pressure on ticket prices. Lufthansa reporting adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 1.82 billion euros for 2015.

The move to boost Eurowings has caused costly industrial problems for the group. It is still struggling to reach agreement with staff on new pay and pension deals. Pilot and cabin crew strikes cost the carrier 231 million euros in lost earnings in 2015.

Like its rivals it benefited from low oil prices and strong travel demand last year which meant it could restore dividend payments to shareholders.

Attacks on popular tourist destinations, from Paris to Tunisia and Turkey, have also reduced traveller confidence at the start of the year.

Chief Financial Officer Simone Menne said people were still travelling, but were booking tickets later. “We see caution on forward bookings, but we aren’t seeing fewer passengers. It’s a change in booking trends,” she said.

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The Thessaloniki Metro Development Study has been signed

Νίκος Καραγιάννης



A very important contract for Thessaloniki was signed yesterday at the offices of Attiko Metro and concerns the famous Thessaloniki Metro Development Study. It is essentially the beginning for the investigation of the needs of urban transportation and their imprinting for the creation of a future dense Metro network that will cover the entire urban complex of the city.

The signatories of yesterday’s ceremony were the CEO of Attiko Metro SA. Mr. Nikos Kouretas, the president of Α.Μ. Nikos Tachiaos and the President of the design company ADT OMEGA SA Mr. Charalambos Andrikopoulos.

The purpose of the study is to investigate the needs for new Metro projects after the implementation of the Main Metro Line and the Expansion to Kalamaria and to formulate a Metro Network Development Plan in Thessaloniki, in the framework of an updated Transport Plan for the city, with a planning horizon of 2040. The Study will also identify the needs of travel demand and related infrastructure projects in Thessaloniki.

The study includes:

1. The current situation in the whole Prefecture of Thessaloniki (movement of 12,000 households selected by random statistical sampling, Declared Preference survey, inventory of road network characteristics, roadside survey and public transport survey). These surveys will be carried out in the next standard traffic period (March – May 2020), in order to have sufficient preparation and to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on daily movements.
2. Analysis of the current situation.

3. Configuration of alternative scenarios of transport infrastructure networks.

4. Development of a transport model.

The total duration of the contract is 2 years. The main staff of the study team consists of 22 experienced traffic engineers and other scientists. Mr. George Nellas has been appointed General Coordinator (Project Manager) responsible for the execution of the respective study in Athens.

ADT OMEGA will also be assisted by the company SYSTEMA, which has participated in the drafting of the National Strategic Transport Plan of the Country. It is estimated that more than 100 people will be employed during the surveys.
The estimated remuneration of the works was 2,990,000 euros plus VAT and the discount given was 32.7% as revealed to you by

Satisfaction from Attiko Metro-ADT OMEGA

The President of ATTICA METRO SA, -a first-hand knower of the conditions in the co-capital- Nikos Tachiaos, said he was happy to sign the contract because using the traffic forecasting model that will be produced by the Study, there can be designed in a rational way, not only the extensions of the Thessaloniki Metro, but also the entire traffic network of public and private means of transport in cooperation with the city’s bodies.

Mr. Panagis Toniolos, executive of ADT OMEGA and President of SEGM, praised the executives of ATTICA METRO for the exemplary professional treatment of the assignment process and pointed out the fact that this study is a real “infrastructure study”, necessary for the rational planning of transport infrastructure of Thessaloniki corresponding to the Athens Metro Development Study prepared in the period 1996-2000

It is to be reminded that the submission of bids took place on May 29, 2019, from where the contractor of the project emerged. The research – due to coronavirus – is expected to take place in the spring of 2021, however, the necessary actions for the implementation of the surveys will start immediately.
In fact, according to information from, ADT OMEGA intends to open an office in Thessaloniki, to ensure the best possible result by being really present in the field of research.

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The extension of Metro Line 3 to Piraeus “speeds up”

Νίκος Καραγιάννης



Σταθμός Μετρό υπό κατασκευή

Two months after the extension of Line 3 from Agia Marina to Nikaia, everyone’s eyes are turned on the second half of the project, which is the final extension of the Line to the port and the center of Piraeus.

The three stations under construction of Attiko Metro are: MANIATIKA, PIRAEUS and MUNICIPAL THEATER. With the operation of the new terminal of Line 3, Metro will now have managed to reach the “heart” of the city, serving the economic and commercial zone of Piraeus.

The critical station in the port

According to information from, the works at this time go underway without any hurdles. The most pleasant, according to the same sources, is that the critical point of the works, which is none other than the construction site for the construction of PIRAEUS station, opposite the port of Piraeus, has now reached a good pace.

The progress is stabilized and in fact the work was not stopped even in August, in order to make up for lost time. The foundation slab has been completed and the works for the construction of the load-bearing structure (i.e. the station) from reinforced concrete are in progress.

MANIATIKA station is moving in a more advanced pace, as the concreting works have reached the waterproofing of the roof slab and the main entrance of the station, i.e. at the height of the street.

Even more advanced is the station DIMOTIKO THEATRO where the architectural finishing works have started, while in the underground part of the station the concreting of the permanent padding, walls and dock slab has been completed.

The tunnel from Nikaia to the Municipal Theater and consequently to the end of the line, has been completed for a long time, but it needed to be drilled for the construction of PIRAEUS station, as it had been passed earlier to gain construction time.

The work that remains to be done is the construction completion of the stations and the surface areas that are currently construction sites, the completion of the superstructure (lines), the E / M systems and the completion works.

2022 is the goal year

The goal of Attiko Metro is -after the success of the delivery of the first half of the expansion in the summer- to deliver in operation the rest of the project by 2022, by completing a ten-year effort since its construction began. It is to be reminder that the project is part of the overall expansion of Line 3 from Agia Marina to the Municipal Theater of Piraeus, costing 730 million euros with the contractor AVAX-GHELLA-ALSTOM. The financing of the project has been covered by the NSRF 2007-2013 and NSRF 2014-2020.

With the operation of the Nikaia-Municipal Theater extension, Line 3 will reach 27 stations and will become the largest in the network. PIRAEUS station will become the largest transport hub of the capital, bringing together two Metro stations (as well as the surface station of Line 1), the Suburban (at a distance of 50 meters) the Tram (at a distance of 100 meters), bus lines, trolleys and just opposite will serve the port.

The terminal DIMOTIKO THEATRO will also be connected with a tram stop and buses and will be an important transport hub for the city of Piraeus

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The criteria for the railway network extension to Epirus Region

Νίκος Καραγιάννης



Ανατολική Σιδηροδρομική Εγνατία

The case of the expansion of the national railway network in Epirus is a real “myth” in the history of the country’s infrastructure. From the end of the 19th century (1887) Charilaos Trikoupis envisioned the creation of an “Adriatic Railway” which, however, was never to become a reality.

Efforts were made over the next few decades but the designs didn’t materialize. Today the request for the arrival of the train in Epirus is again on the table, but the act of such a project is an expensive case with uncertain financial background.

The questions

It is a fact that the extension of the single line from Kalambaka to Ioannina and Igoumenitsa will not be commercially “sustainable”. The cost is very high and it is difficult or impossible to find funding from one of the well-known channels in Europe. Then why do we even talk about the railway? Why should local authorities insist that they want the train in the area when they basically know it is an extremely difficult affair?

An answer can hardly be given, but one question at a time might lay the groundwork for a dialogue on the subject. “Should the shortage of railways in an entire part of the country, which is not at all negligible, be treated only in terms of trade and sustainability”? asks himself an experienced member of the railway family.

This question has an important counter-argument. The fair existence of a network of rails in the country as happened with the road network of highways that today cover all geographical areas of Greece. Are they all sustainable? no is the answer. Some of them. “We caught up with them,” said an official from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

The railway today in Greece is treated somewhat as a means of transport “luxury” with the result that the conditions for its expansion throughout the mainland are done with the dropper. Its very expensive construction makes things worse. Greece is not a country that can unreasonably spend on infrastructure that does not have a beneficial result.

Is the arrival of the railway in Epirus really without benefits?

Socially definitely not. But let’s see what is available in the conversation that started at the beginning of summer with the request of the Epirus Region for its connection to the national railway network.

The connection with Ioannina and Igoumenitsa is 1.7 billion euros

To date, about 70 million euros have been spent on fifteen (old) studies. In fact, in the period 2013-2014, an initial proposal was made by OSE, for the inclusion in the NSRF 2014-2020 of two new single lines with electric drive. The line Kalampaka-Ioannina-Igoumenitsa and the line Kalampaka-Kozani. The cost of the former was estimated at 1.74 billion euros and the connection with Kozani 742 million euros.

The new single line, 147km long with a design speed of 160km / h or greater where possible, included electricity, remote control and two-way signaling while the main railway stations would be in Kalambaka, Siatista, Igoumenitsa, Ioannina and Grevena. The time of travel for the route Athens-Ioannina is estimated approx. at 3 hours and 50 minutes.

The studies were quite advanced and according to the report, there are approved environmental conditions for the sections Kalampaka-Ioannina-Igoumenitsa and Dimitra-Siatista (for the connection with Kozani). In 2013, OSE submitted proposals for financing studies and drafting tender documents for the new single railway lines Kalampaka – Ioannina – Igoumenitsa (16 million euros) and Kalampaka – Kozani (7 million euros), but they were rejected. According to the reasoning of the Managing Authority, high precariousness was found and the studies “needed to be reviewed”.

That has a resulted in the “tombstone” of the promotion of the projects that are know as the so-called Western Egnatia Railway. However, the essence of the above – then failed – effort, is that there is a serious basis for the studies and in fact railway executives claim that the final studies are needed to mature these projects.

Ionian-Aegean connection via railway

Finding 2.5 billion euros is clearly not an easy task for Greece, but a plan can be launched, similar to the one made for the eastern part of the Egnatia Railway. A few days ago, the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, spoke about the development of a freight center in Igoumenitsa.

A railway line that would reach this port would create new conditions for freight transport. Through Kalampaka it will be connected to the port of Volos, achieving the connection of the Ionian with the Aegean through the line Igoumenitsa-Kalampaka-Volos and of course with the port of Piraeus.

Line integrated in the trans-European network

Also, the railway line Kalampaka-Ioannina-Igoumenitsa is part of the core railway network TEN-T of the European Union and is an integral part of the European Corridor Orient / East Med that starts from the northern ports of Germany and ends through Central and Eastern Europe.

This means that it is a project of European interest and this could possibly be a first basis for starting a serious long-term planning. Also with the existence of this line ita becomes a network that can be expanded and connected with Albania and Skopje.

Unfortunately for railway projects, especially of this size, the use of the Recovery Fund is completely precarious due to the long implementation times required (the end of the Fund is determined for 2026). But studies on the maturation of the plan could go ahead.

Even if it is not considered a first priority project, with a combination of financial tools it could be a future visionary project that would complete the Egnatia Railway and shape the freight and passenger transport of the future of the country, giving new opportunities for balanced development in central and north-western country.

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