The Greek summer season unofficially took off on Thursday with dozens of flights touching down across the country as the official tourism season in Greece begins this week.
The popular islands of Rhodes, Mykonos, and Zakynthos were among the first to welcome international travelers with traditional songs and dance and plenty of local treats.
Dance troupes welcomed the first tourists from Israel on Thursday at Rhodes Airport, where nine flights are expected within the day, seven of which from Israel.
Meanwhile, British tour operator TUI has announced six flights on TUIFly for Friday, more than 120 for the month of May, and an even greater number in June from Germany and the UK to the airports of Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Kos, and Araxos.
In Kalamata, meanwhile, the main airport serving the Peloponnese region, 21 international flights – many from Switzerland and Germany – are scheduled for May, with the first arrival slated for Friday.
According to the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), Greece is among the top 10 countries recording the highest increase in the number of arrivals this month.
In the meantime, incoming flights from the US are expected on June 3 with United offering daily routes from New York to Athens and from Washington to Athens on July 1. Delta will also service the Athens-New York route as of May 28, and American Airlines from June 3 out of New York to Athens and from June 4 flying out of Chicago.
South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos expressed his confidence that the season will be promising adding that “a ‘mature’ tourist destination is one that inspires confidence in its visitors, a destination where even in the most difficult of circumstances there are plans and solutions to all problems”, he said.
“We managed to have tourism in 2020, so we will succeed in 2021, as well,” said Hatzimarkos.
In efforts to safeguard both holidaymakers and locals, Greece is moving ahead fast with its newly announced “Blue Freedom” plan prioritizing Covid-19 vaccination of its islands, expected to be completed by the end of June.