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US Carriers Have More Plans for Greece, New Connections Under Consideration

Greece may see an expansion of existing US airline routes and the launch of new connections from American cities next year, the Greek Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday.

Following teleconferences with the heads of leading US carriers Delta, American and United, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced that he expects an increase in seat capacity and larger aircraft arriving to Greece this year from America. Meanwhile, new connections linking Greece with cities such as Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles are being considered for next year.

“What the teleconferences had in common was the positive messages regarding bookings to Greece from the US market this year,” Minister Kikilias said to the Athens News Agency (ANA).

Delta keen on supporting Greek tourism during winter months

During their teleconference with Kikilias, Delta executives, including Steve Sear (Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Distribution) and Scott Jordn (Managing Director NY Sales), explored the possibility of extending the duration of the airline’s seasonal operations in Greece to 10 months by extending flights until the end of December to include services for the Christmas holidays.

Sear and Jordn also discussed ways to extend flights also for the first months of 2023 in view of the opening of winter cruise itineraries in February.

During the discussion, it was agreed for a working group to be set up between Delta and the Greek tourism ministry in order to convert at least one seasonal route to Athens into an all year round route.

It is reminded that Delta this year started flights from New York to Athens earlier than ever (March 7) and also launched a direct flight from Boston to the Greek city for the first time.

Delta’s seasonal flights to Athens for 2022 are from New York, Atlanta and Boston.

American may launch flights from Miami, Dallas and LA in the future

Photo source: American Airlines

In his teleconference with American Airlines executives, including Jim Carter (Managing Director Global Sales), Kikilias agreed to set up a working group that will visit the company’s headquarters in Texas to present the possibilities of opening new destinations from the US to Greece in 2023-2024.

Thoughts include connecting US cities also with Thessaloniki and Heraklion (Crete) in addition to Athens.

Moreover, talks focused on the opening of new flight connections from US cities to Greece and specifically from Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles.

It is reminded that American Airlines showed its confidence in the Greek tourism product by increasing this year its capacity in Athens by 80 percent compared to 2019 and by 48 percent compared to 2020.

American’s seasonal flights to Athens for 2022 are from New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

United: Flights to Athens with larger aircraft

In the coming weeks United intends to carry out flights to Athens on a larger aircraft due to increased demand, the airline’s managing director of the Atlantic network, Darren Scott, informed Kikilias.

During the teleconference, the launch of a flight from the US to Thessaloniki in the future was also discussed.

United’s seasonal flights to Athens for 2022 are from Newark and Washington Dulles.

It is reminded that the three American carriers and Emirates until the end of October are offering some 500,000 seats for Athens, a number that is expected to increase if routes are extended.

Only Emirates offers a year-round service to the Greek capital (Athens-Newark).

Kikilias also had a teleconference with the heads of major US travel agencies that handle some 90 percent of business travelers from America. Talks focused on promoting MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) in an aim to restart the sector that is among the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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