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Promise of Greek Summer Attracts New Flights

Photo source: AIAAs summer draws near all the more airlines are introducing new flights, adding more seats or boosting the frequency of their existing routes to destinations in Greece aiming to secure a piece of the growing market with local sector professionals expecting another record year at 41 of the country’s airports.

Meanwhile, companies are eager to see the developments after the transfer of management of 14 Greek airports to German transport company Fraport is completed, now set for March.

Many global carriers are opening up to destinations that were until recently served exclusively by Greek airlines.

British Airways announced the launch of direct flights from London City airport to Skiathos now serving 12 destinations including Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, Kos, Rhodes,Heraklion, Chania, Kalamata, Corfu and Zakynthos.

Dubai-base airlines Emirates, meanwhile, made news earlier this year by announcing the launch of a new year-round daily flight from Athens to New York with special fares. Emirates’ Dubai-Athens-Newark flight starts on March 12. There has been no non-stop daily year-round service from Greece to the US since 2012.

Singapore Airlines-owned low-cost carrier Scoot aims to stimulate passenger traffic between Asia Pacific and Europe through Athens with Singapore-Athens flights every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday as of June 20.

Responding to leisure travellers’ high demand during the summer holiday period, Air France has announced the launch of new routes from Athens to French regional airports Nice, Toulouse and Marseille from July 24 to September 3.

Alitalia will launch a new daily non-stop service between Athens and Tel Aviv in May, responding to growing demand. “In 2016 the air traffic between the two countries grew by almost 10 percent compared to the previous year”, the airline said in an announcement.

Condor, the leisure carrier of Thomas Cook Group Airlines, will launch new direct flights from Frankfurt to Thessaloniki. The seasonal route will run from May 2 until October 24, every Tuesday and Friday, and be operated with Airbus A320 aircraft.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has cut its seating capacity by 17 percent to Athens, 7 percent to Thessaloniki, 17 percent to Corfu, 15 percent to Rhodes and 11 percent to Kefalonia. The Irish airline discontinued its Kos route but increased the capacity to Chania by 4 percent and to Mykonos by 39 percent.

Greece’s national carrier Aegean Airlines will add international routes from Athens to Kassel, Kuwait and Stuttgart in March; to Strasbourg in April; to Hanover in May; and to Edinburgh in June. The airline’s summer schedule will see boosted flights to Dusseldorf, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Cairo, Hanover, Alexandria, Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona. Aegean will also launch direct flights from Tel Aviv to Thessaloniki in May.

Greek carrier Ellinair this summer will launch direct flights from Thessaloniki to Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Cologne. From the airport of Heraklion, Ellinair will fly to Munich and Berlin. The airline will also launch a seasonal service from Kavala to St. Petersburg and Moscow from May 26 until September 10.

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