TRANSPORT

Airlines returning to Greece

Carriers that fly to Greek destinations are eyeing the upcoming increase in tourism

airlines-returning-to-greece

Foreign airlines are increasing their flights to and from Greek destinations, with the tourism sector expecting improved figures, especially as of July, not only in Greece but also across the continent.

That trend is not only confirmed by the return of foreign carriers to Greek airports, but also by data from the European agency for aviation safety, Eurocontrol.

This summer the number of aircraft stationed at European airports will be the smallest since the outbreak of the health crisis: At this point there are 800 fewer aircraft parked at European airports than in May – i.e. a total of 3,300. The drop in this number is also reflected in the resumption of flights to and from Greece.

Athens International Airport is already recording a gradual return of foreign carriers, as arrivals from abroad now include Spain’s Volotea, which is activating its Athens hub, as well as Gulf Air, which as of last Friday flies between Athens and Larnaca, in Cyprus.

Furthermore, Romania’s Blue Air has added Bacau to its Athens links, American Airlines flies directly to Athens from Chicago and Philadelphia, and Delta has connected the Greek capital with Atlanta, as well as New York’s JFK. United has added the Washington-Athens route to its options, and Emirates has as of June 1 resumed flights between Athens and New York’s Newark Airport.

On Wednesday Fraport Greece, the consortium that manages Greece’s 14 biggest regional airports, announced that Cyprus Airways has restored its link between Cyprus and Thessaloniki, as well as services to Iraklio, Preveza and Skiathos.

Volotea has joined the list of carriers conducting domestic flights in Greece, linking Zakynthos with Thessaloniki, while Ryanair has created three new hubs, at Hania, Corfu and Rhodes. Lufthansa added seven new destinations on May 21, those being Aktio, Hania, Corfu, Kavala, Kos, Mykonos and Zakynthos.

The shift of travelers to regional destinations due to health concerns and the shrinking of long-haul flights favors carriers’ Greek plans, with Aegean also enhancing its schedules.