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Commercial Flights to Greece Rise in July Despite EU Drop

Greece was the only country in the EU to mark an increase in commercial flights for a second consecutive month in July compared to the same month in pre-pandemic 2019, according to recent data released by Eurostat.

More specifically, Greece recorded a 7 percent increase over July 2019 whereas in the rest of the EU the number of commercial flights dropped by 15 percent with Slovenia marking the largest decline by 41 percent.

Analysts note that the decline in commercial flights comes in the midst of the peak tourist season for several popular travel destinations such as Italy where commercial flights were down by 9.5 percent, Spain by -7.3 percent, France by -11.8 percent and Malta by -12.1 percent.

Based on Eurostat, Hellenic Statistical Authority, Athens International Airport (AIA), ACI Europe and Fraport airport data, Greece is expected to recover 2019 levels this year.

Photo source: Athens International Airport

Indicatively, according to data, AIA handled 1,917,043 international arrivals in July compared to 1,178,658 in June, marking a 62.6 percent rise.

Overall in 2022 so far, the number of international arrivals has more than tripled compared to 2021 reaching 7,872,648 passengers against 2,621,930 in 2021.

Meanwhile, Greece’s 14 regional airports marked an 11.1 percent increase in passenger traffic to 5.91 million compared to 5.32 million in July 2019. Airport traffic has been on a steady rise since June when the airports recorded a 3.3 percent rise over 2019 levels.

Photo source: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

Last month, ACI Europe confirmed that Greek airports were the only ones in Europe together with those in Luxembourg to have fully recovered their pre-Covid 2019 passenger traffic volumes in June, recording a 1.8 percent rise over June 2019.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias has welcomed the news confirming that both international tourist arrivals and tourism earnings are on the rise with many areas surpassing 2019 levels.

Kikilias said he expects 2022 to be an “excellent year”.

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