TOURISM

TUI planes to touch ground from Friday

Europe’s leading tour operator has scheduled 120 flights to Greece up to the end of the month

tui-planes-to-touch-ground-from-friday

TUI, Europe’s leading tour operator, is launching its holiday schedule for Greece with six flights this Friday, coinciding with the opening of tourism in this country, followed on Saturday by 15, and another 60 next week.

In total it has scheduled 120 incoming flights to Greece until the end of May and this is set to soar in June, top officials of the company tell Kathimerini.

These flights will initially concern departures from Germany and then from the United Kingdom to the airports of Iraklio, Rhodes, Corfu and Kos. Up next will be Araxos, in the Peloponnese, and other destinations, as arrivals are set to soar as the season continues.

Despite the inclusion of Greece in the UK’s amber list of countries (meaning that returning to Britain will entail 10 days of quarantine), TUI is still selling holiday packages from Britain and reports satisfactory demand too.

The tour operator’s officials explain that TUI is currently selling packages in cooperation with 3,000 Greek hotels, a number set to increase further should demand allow it and more units open in Greece. In any case there is reserved optimism that this year’s performance will not only better that of 2020, but also reach up to 75% of record year 2019.

The launch of the tourism season on Friday will be crucial, as according Sani/Ikos chief executive Andreas Andreadis (also the former head of the Greek Tourism Confederation), “the two weeks before and after the opening of tourism will show the level of demand and cancellations from the UK, with Greece on the amber list, and Russia will decide on whether it will allow for new flights to Greece. It is important that the picture of the first few arrivals is positive,” he says.

On Tuesday the Russian prime minister will chair the meeting of the committee to decide on the recommendation by the Russian and Greek civil aviation authorities for freeing up charter flights between the two countries – which are necessary to satisfy the great demand from Russians for holidays in Greece.