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Glitches Cut Flights at New Athens Airport

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April 08, 2001|TIMES WIRES

ATHENS — Olympic Airways, Greece's state airline, said last week it would cancel 10 flights a day until April 18 because glitches had stranded thousands at the new Athens airport. Major international carriers, such as British Airways and Virgin Express, said their flights were on schedule.

Flight delays and cancellations left travelers on Olympic flights waiting as long as two days at the new $1.9-billion Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport after computerized booking systems failed and automated luggage conveyers clogged. The airport replaces 70-year-old Hellinikon airport as Greece prepares to host the 2004 Olympics.

On March 29, the same day the new Athens airport opened, South Korea's $5-billion Inchon International Airport began service without any significant glitches. The airport, built on an artificial island near the port of Inchon about 35 miles west of Seoul, has taken over from Kimpo as South Korea's main international airport. Kimpo remains open for domestic flights.

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