The official approval for this project came from the Hellenic Navy General Staff (GEN) in collaboration with the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) and the Greek Shipping Ministry.
Patmos Mayor Lefteris Pentes welcomed the development, highlighting that seaplane flights can enhance the island’s accessibility and extend the tourist season.
“Seaplane connections will enrich the travel experience offered by a quality island destination like Patmos,” he said.
Waterway Patmos IKE, a subsidiary of Hellenic Seaplanes, will manage seaplane operations to and from the Skala port on Patmos. In the initial phase, flights will be available to Leros and Samos ports, as well as to the upcoming waterways on Tinos and Sifnos. The company also plans to establish a connection with Attica, which is currently pending approval.
Hellenic Seaplanes President and CEO Nicolas Charalambous underlined that seaplanes can play a pivotal role in facilitating travel to Patmos, especially for those who prefer air travel, given that the island currently lacks an airport.
The approval for the Patmos waterway is an addition to Greece’s network of waterways, which includes 30 waterways in the South Aegean Region. The waterways are expected to connect the Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete and mainland Greece.
On his part, South Aegean Governor George Hatzimarkos commented on the approval of the Patmos waterway and said it paves the for other islands to follow the same direction.
“The strategically important port of Patmos will not only interconnect with other Dodecanese and North Aegean waterways but also enhance the island’s tourism offerings, including cruise tourism and seaplane tourist flights, on which our country heavily relies,” the governor said.
Furthermore, following the arrival of its first aircraft in Greece, Hellenic Seaplanes is cooperating with authorities to obtain an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
The timely completion of the AOC process, expected by the end of October, is expected to enable Hellenic Seaplanes to commence its first flights in 2023, gearing up for the upcoming tourist season.
In addition to the Patmos approval, Hellenic Seaplanes has also received the green light to begin training courses for waterway personnel. Set to begin in October 2023, the course will cover various issues, including safety, security and customer service.