Inter-island carrier Cycladic, a privately owned Greek airline, kicked off its new flight schedule last month with the aim to establish its services in the Cyclades and the Dodecanese and offer an alternative means of direct and safe transport from island to island for both permanent residents and tourists.
Offering a revolutionary island-hopping experience in Greece, Cycladic launched in October 2022 by Ιfly SA, a leading Greek private aircraft and helicopter management company. Ιfly’s ultimate concept focuses on bridging the Greek islands of Cyclades, the Dodecanese and Crete for travelers and facilitating the year-round movement of the permanent island residents.
Cycladic’s fleet consists of three state-of-the-art Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft, offering advantages to passengers in terms of time saving and comfort, while guaranteeing safety.
According to Ιfly’s representative, Katerina Katopis, the company’s ambitious business plan is looking to connect the Cyclades islands with the North Aegean, and add popular destinations – such as Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes – to its network.
Cycladic’s priority is to offer year-round flights to island residents
“It should be clear that this is a project that is not meant to be in effect only during the summer months. We operate all year round and primarily want to offer seamless connections to the islands and their residents,” Katopis said during a press conference held recently at the Municipality of Syros to announce the launch of Cycladic’s flight schedule.
“By flying all year round we want to contribute to the sustainability of the islands… We are not just here for the tourist season… At the moment we are carrying out routes between Syros, Paros, Naxos, Astypalea, Milos and Heraklion… from the winter we will add other destinations in our program,” she said, highlighting that the company is making efforts to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and include routes to Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini by next summer.
On his part, Cyclades Deputy Regional Governor Giorgos Leontaritis highlighted that the South Aegean Region supports the efforts of Cycladic considering that the connectivity of the Greek islands is a “major issue”, one that involves development, society and health.
“Cycladic’s inter-island connectivity serves a greater purpose beyond boosting tourism; it is an invaluable health and social asset,” he said, pointing out the stark difference between an 11-hour ferry ride from Syros to Milos and the quick, less than an hour flight via a Cycladic aircraft.
Noting that Cycladic’s business plan is self-funded and not subsidized, he underlined that the regional authority is looking into applying the transport equivalent (or “metaforiko isodynamo”) to intra-island air travel so that permanent island residents can take these flights at a reasonable cost.
“I believe it is right and fair to have the transport equivalent for islanders moving from one island to another on Cycladic’s flights… The transport equivalent currently applies to ferry travel, Sky Express flights, etc… Since it applies to other means of transport, why not here as well so that permanent residents can have easier movement and at a lower cost,” he said.
Staying on the subject of cost, Katopi said ticket prices during the winter months will be cheaper, which applies to all airlines. She added that the company will apply a policy of discount offers with coupons as well as special discounts for the residents of the islands.
Cycladic’s Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft have a seating capacity of 8 to 12 passengers. In terms of baggage allowance, there is no restriction, as each passenger is entitled to carry hand luggage weighing up to 8 kg, and has the option of carrying up to 23 kg of baggage.
It should be mentioned that Cycladic has teamed up with Monte Aircraft Leasing Limited for a program that will gradually convert its fleet of Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft into electric engines that will emit zero pollutants.
Flying in a Cycladic aircraft
Aiming to demonstrate exactly how Cycladic’s flights can facilitate travel from island to island, the company’s representatives, Nikos Lykiardopoulos and Katerina Katopis, staged a flight with Greek journalists on board and flew them to the press conference on Syros.
Welcomed by the flight’s captain, Cornelius Savopoulos and co-pilot, Panagiota Rafti, a group of Greek journalists boarded the Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft at Paros Airport and had the pleasure to experience the island-hopping experience on what seemed like a “private” flight.
Seating 12 passengers and flying at low altitude over the beautiful Greek islands, Cycladic offered journalists a reliable, efficient and enjoyable inter-island service.
After departing Paros Airport, Cycladic flew over Antiparos and then proceeded to land on Syros. The flight, which took 30 minutes, gave journalists amazing and breathtaking views of white cycladic houses, mesmerizing beaches and yachts travelling between the islands.
After disembarking the aircraft, the journalists agreed that the service can be considered an easy solution to island-hop in Greece, making travel comfortable and offering faster connections for Greek and foreign travelers.