Three Airlines to Fly Greece’s Subsidized Air Routes to Remote Areas
The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) on Friday announced that Astra Airlines, Olympic Air and Sky Express will service a number of state-subsidized air routes to remote Greek destinations (unprofitable routes), following a tender that launched earlier this year.
The flights are said to cost the Greek state some nine million euros per year in subsidies (compared to 45 million euros per year paid to date), as a result of the restructured tender process.
The routes to be covered by the airline companies from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2020, are the following:
Astra Airlines: Athens–Kalymnos and Thessaloniki–Limnos–Ikaria
Olympic Air: Athens–Leros, Thessaloniki–Kalamata, Athens–Skyros, Rhodes–Kastelorizo
Sky Express: Athens–Syros, Athens–Astypalea, Rhodes–Karpathos–Kasos
The following subsidized air routes were assigned directly to the airline companies, following negotiations, as bids were not submitted. The airlines will operate the specific routes from October 1, 2016 until March 31, 2017.
Olympic Air: Limnos–Mytilini–Chios–Samos–Rhodes, Rhodes–Kos–Kalymnos–Leros–Astypalea, Thessaloniki–Corfu, Thessaloniki–Skyros
Sky Express: Athens–Milos, Athens–Naxos, Athens–Sitia, Aktio–Sitia, Alexandroupoli–Sitia, Corfu–Aktio–Kefalonia–Zakynthos.
A new tender for the aforementioned routes has been launched for their operation from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2021.
Astra Airlines will continue to operate the Athens–Kozani–Kastoria route under a revised contract until August 31 2018, as no bid was submitted for that route.