The Greek Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on Monday announced that it has extended the contracts of a number of Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes that serve remote Greek destinations.
The contracts of the following PSO routes, which were assigned to airlines by following a government tender, will be extended until September 30:
– Athens-Skyros and Rhodes-Kastelorizo, operated by Olympic Air (subsidy of 1.07 million euros).
– Athens-Leros and Thessaloniki-Kalamata, operated by Olympic Air (zero subsidy).
– Athens-Astypalea and Rhodes-Karpathos-Kasos, operated by Sky Express (subsidy of 902 thousand euros).
– Athens-Syros, operated by Sky Express (zero subsidy).
– Athens-Kozani-Kastoria, operated by Sky Express (subsidy of 476 thousand euros).
In an announcement, the ministry said the continuation of the PSO routes was deemed necessary for reasons of public interest as they cover vital needs of some of Greece’s remote mainland and island destinations. The contracts had originally expired on January 1.
PSO routes are certain air routes that are financially unviable for airlines to operate. Most PSO routes are subsidized by the state and assigned to airlines following a tender process. Carriers that serve such routes on a zero subsidy enjoy benefits (such as exemption from certain levies) applicable to PSO routes in general.