Ryanair‘s six new scheduled flights to Athens that will launch from 1 April, have achieved record numbers in pre-bookings, the Irish airline’s CEO, Michael O’ Leary, said during a press conference in the Greek capital on 19 March.
The low-cost airline will open its third Greek hub in Athens (after Thessaloniki and Chania) with two based aircraft that will serve six new routes to Chania, London Stansted, Milan Bergamo, Paphos, Rhodes and Thessaloniki for a total of 154 flights per week.
According to Mr. O’Leary, the new flights to Athens will serve some 1.2 million passengers out of a total of four million to and from Greece in 2014.
Mr. O’Leary said Ryanair was making a total investment of more than $300 million in Greece with seven aircraft based in the country and 350 people directly employed in the airline’s three hubs.
Ryanair’s CEO added that new routes will be announced for the winter season and the summer of 2015 in November.
“Greece has huge growth potential in tourism and Ryanair is here to invest,” he said during the press conference.
The low-cost airline aims to cover domestic and international routes and become the “number one airline in Greece.”
Moreover, Mr. O’Leary said the airline aims to carry eight to 10 million passengers to and from Greece by 2018. However, he underlined that Greek airports must reduce their high charges.
“If these costs fall there will be an unbelievable influx of tourists in the country,” he said.