Hoteliers and tourism stakeholders in Ioannina and Heraklion on Crete are calling on the government to restore the remote air route between the two cities and to re-launch a relevant tender offering better terms.
In a letter to lawmakers and ministry officials, tourism and hospitality professionals are urging MPs from Epirus and Crete to exert pressure on the Transport Ministry to take the necessary action so that the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) can re-launch a tender for the air route with better terms.
In June, hospitality and tourism bodies in the Ioannina prefecture had called on AEGEAN and SKY express airlines to participate in an international tender for the Ioannina-Heraklion (Crete) air route.
“It is imperative for the development of our destinations and a long-standing request of the local communities,” they said in the letter.
Currently the only remote air routes in Greece not operating are those of Ioannina – Heraklion, Thessaloniki – Kalamata, and Thessaloniki – Corfu, as no offer was submitted in the previously announced tenders.
Local tourism and hospitality stakeholders underlined the importance of subsidizing the Ioannina – Heraklion air connection for local communities, trade and tourism. Among others, a direct link will contribute to the tourism development of the wider region of Epirus and the prefecture, facilitate individual travel, school trips, combined tourism programs and packages, facilitate transport for students attending the universities of Crete and Ioannina, cover transport needs for academic events and conferences, facilitate transport of employees working in both cities, and boost trade.
The letter was signed by the hotel associations of Heraklion, Ioannina, Rethymno, and Chania, the Association of Cretan Travel & Tourism Agencies (ACTTA) and the Union of Ioannina Tourist Offices & Buses.