Defunct Airliners at Athens’ Closed Ellinikon International Airport

Ellinikon-International-Airport-abandoned-747-aircraft (Image: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Athens’ abandoned Ellinikon International Airport is an odd place – decommissioned to make way for a major new airport in the run-up to the 2004 Olympics while at the same time donating its land for the glittering collection of modern sports arenas required for the games. But a decade later, many of those multi-billion dollar facilities are themselves modern ruins in a country struggling to recover from the economic downturn.

Meanwhile, in a weed-strewn corner of what was Ellinikon International Airport, a small collection of near-abandoned Olympic Airways passenger jets stand silent.

Ellinikon-International-Airport-abandoned-3 (Image:

The three airliners, a Boeing 727 (above), 737 and 747, are understood to belong to the Olympic Airways Museum, which is based in the West Terminal. If so, they are presumably awaiting better days to come. Also parked nearby is a former Hellenic BAC-111.

abandoned-747-SX-OAB-ellinikon-airport (Image: NickChino, cc-nc-nd-4.0)

Dominating the group, the mighty Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet’s company markings have been concealed by an anonymous coating of grey paint. This early model Jumbo – a 747-200 series jet registration SX-OAB – was in service throughout the 1990s.

abandoned-747-SX-OAB-flight-deck (Image: NickChino, cc-nc-nd-4.0)

Its four powerful engines have now been removed from their pylons and the flight deck, complete with flight engineer’s station and lacking the glass cockpit of newer 747s, has been stripped of its instruments.

abandoned-747-SX-OAB-interior-3 (Image: NickChino, cc-nc-nd-4.0)

Nevertheless the massive airframe and its eerily silent interior seem to be intact, despite signs of vandalism.

Grounded permanently, the 747 is the centrepiece of Ellinikon’s small aircraft graveyard, reminders of the airport’s history and relics of the defunct Olympic Airlines. Learn about other abandoned international airports here.



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