Ryanair to Reduce Greek Domestic Flights, Close Base at Chania Airport
Low-cost carrier Ryanair on Wednesday announced plans to reduce its domestic Greek flights and also close its base in Chania Airport on Crete.
According to the announcement, the airline’s decision will also result in the cancellation of four low frequency flights from Chania to Katowice, Memmingen, Venice Treviso and Vilnius.
“Ryanair will continue to operate its Athens services to/from Mykonos, Santorini and Thessaloniki this summer, however all other Greek domestic services will be cancelled from June 1,” the announcement read.
Ryanair will also transfer one aircraft from Athens and one from Chania to bases in Germany from June 1 where it said it is expanding its services.
“Regrettably, current airport charges at the majority of Greek airports encourage peak-only services in the summer on international routes, which require less based aircraft in Greece, Ryanair Sales and Marketing Manager for the Eastern Mediterranean Nikolaos Lardis said, adding that the two aircraft from Athens and Chania will be transferred to Germany where they can achieve “superior utilization” on a year round basis.
“Ryanair remains open to discussions with the relevant airport operators to develop growth schemes (for all airlines) which would justify and sustain year round services and additional aircraft permanently based at Greek airports,” Lardis said.
Fraport Greece: Ryanair continues to be a strategic partner
On his part, Fraport Greece Executive Director Commercial & Business Development George Vilos said that Ryanair’s decision to limit its domestic flight operations in Greece was purely due to operational reasons of the airline.
Chania Airport is one of the 14 Greek airports operated and managed by Fraport Greece.
“Fraport Greece respects Ryanair’s operational needs and choices, which in any case continues to be a strategic partner in nine out of the 14 airports, with a significant market share and strong growth in recent years in international destinations,” Vilos said in a statement.
“For our part, priority is to serve the increased passenger traffic that we are expecting at our airports this year, and our actions are aimed in this direction,” he added.
Ryanair’s international network from Athens Airport grows
Despite the reduction to routes on its domestic network, Ryanair continues to grow its international network out of Athens on a year-to-year basis.
For the summer 2018 period, the airline will be operating flights to 13 additional international destinations out of Athens International Airport (AIA): Billund in Denmark; Karlsruhe, Memmingen and Frankfurt in Germany; Gdansk, Krakow, Katowice, Lodz Lubinek, Poznan, Rzeszow and Wroclaw in Poland; Lappeenranta in Finand; and Vilnius in Lithuania.