BUSINESS

Five reasons behind drop in air seats to Greece

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism

Airlines are planning a 7 percent reduction in the number of seats on flights to Greece this year, according to the latest report by the Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation (InSETE), increasing concerns in the local market of a downturn in the coming season. Worse, key markets for Greek tourism such as Germany are showing an even greater reduction in seat planning, by up to 16 percent.

InSETE’s report shows that the prospects for this summer at Greece’s regional airports, according to seat planning by January 31, are showing a small contraction. Following a particularly high growth rate of 21 percent last year after repeated increases in previous years too, a contraction of about 7 percent is expected this year. InSETE, however, considers this a normal development after several years of increases.

The reduction in demand for air seats to Greece for the summer of 2019 is mainly attributed to the slowdown in eurozone growth, failure to complete a deal for Britain’s exit from the European Union, the dynamic return of Turkey as a tourism destination with very competitive prices, the bankruptcy of Germania – the German carrier that had scheduled for 381,000 seats to Greece – and to a relatively warm summer in Europe last year that affected the travel behavior of holidaymakers this year.

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