Greek company Hellenic Seaplanes CEO and founder Nicolas Charalambous met with Patmos Mayor Grigoris Stoikos and Greek-Mexican investor Ricardo Nicolopoulos Farias in Athens, this week to discuss a time frame for the construction of a waterway hub on the Dodecanese island.
The possibility of Nicolopoulos Farias joining as an investor in the country’s waterway project was also on the agenda of talks. Nicolopoulos Farias, who owns a small airline company and is involved in airport activities, is already planning to construct a hotel on Patmos.
“The meeting was of particular importance for the island, with a substantial proposal for the creation of a Patmos waterway on the table. The project is expected to boost the economies of Patmos and of surrounding islands and at the same time serve both Greek and foreign visitors,” said Stoikos, adding that the municipal authority has “taken the most important step towards the development of the network, since we will construct the first waterway project in the Aegean”.
On his part, Charalambous said: “We are aiming to have the first waterway up and running in July 2019 so that the first hydroplanes can take flight under the condition that all the necessary ministerial decisions are signed promptly.”
Underlining the importance of a waterway network for the Aegean island community, Charalambous added that the seaplanes will be carrying out multiple routes including passenger, charter, sightseeing, cargo, hospital, research and rescue flights.
Several years ago, the Patmos Port Authority had blocked the creation of a waterway hub on the island, which was set to start operations in the summer of 2016, according to a statement issued then by Hellenic Seaplanes.
To date, more than 60 waterways across Greece are in the process of licensing and implementation. According to Hellenic Seaplanes, the development of a country-wide waterway network can boost tourism, create new jobs, and provide transport services for both Greeks and tourists visiting Greece.