BUSINESS

Airlines seize on tourism rise in Greece

By Alexandra Kassimi

Air seats to Greece have increased by 10 percent this year as not only are low-fare airlines choosing the country as a destination despite Athens International Airport’s high costs, but established carriers are now returning to the country’s airspace in response to its growing tourism figures.

A top Emirates official recently described the Athens-Dubai route as “the most profitable service in Europe” for the UAE carrier, which also explains the soaring number of air links between Greece and the Gulf this year. This summer Emirates is doubling its daily flights between Athens and Dubai from August until October 25, while the second aircraft it will be using for the route can carry 76 percent more passengers and 74 percent more cargo.

From July 2 Etihad Airways will be introducing three more weekly flights between Athens and Abu Dhabi on top of the four code-sharing flights it has with Aegean.

British Airways will also have four weekly flights between London Gatwick and Thessaloniki, while earlier this month it launched direct services from London Heathrow to Myconos and Santorini. BA now flies 30 weekly services to four Greek airports.

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