Qatar Airways’ much-awaited first flight to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, touched down at Thessaloniki International Airport “Makedonia” on Tuesday. The new four times-weekly service from Doha to the airline’s second gateway in Greece commenced just one month ahead of the launch of its third destination in Greece, the island of Mykonos.
The airline’s Airbus A320 was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute, followed by a welcome ceremony for the VIP delegation on board the flight, led by Qatar Airways Group representative, Captain Jassim Al-Haroon, Vice President Operations Amiri Flight and Constantinos Orphanides, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic in State of Qatar.
“Qatar Airways’ new service to Thessaloniki will help reinforce links between the State of Qatar and Greece and deepen the friendship and cooperation between our two great countries,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, said.
The airline has already been operating to Athens since June 2005 and in 2015 increased its service to the Greek capital from twice daily to three times daily to meet growing demand.
“Our second gateway in Greece, Thessaloniki is a major tourist destination all year round offering access to some of Greece’s most famous resorts. We are delighted to support Greece’s tourism industry by providing more global travellers the opportunity to visit this iconic city,” Baker said.
The new gateway will connect Thessaloniki to Qatar Airways’ global network, through its state-of-the-art hub in Doha, to more than 150 business and leisure destinations including Qatar, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The first flights to Thessaloniki will be operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft, featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy Class. Flights will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
On his part, Alexander Zinell, Fraport Greece Chief Executive Officer, underlined that passengers from Northern Greece and the Balkans can now benefit from direct flights linking Thessaloniki with the international hub of Doha and beyond.
“The decision by our new airline partner, Qatar Airways, is a clear indication of the Thessaloniki ‘Makedonia’ Airport growth potential,” Zinell said.
Qatar Airways next destination: Mykonos
Qatar Airways’ robust growth strategy in Europe continues, with service to Mykonos commencing in May. The launch of these additional two gateways into Greece confirms the airline’s strong commitment to boosting tourism in Greece, especially from regions with strong Greek populations such as Australia and the Middle East. With the launch of service to Mykonos, the award-winning airline will operate 58 times a week between the five-star Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Greece.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world, with a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.