The first direct flight of an American airline from the United States landed at Athens International Airport on Tuesday, opening this year’s tourism season earlier than ever before.
Welcoming its arrival, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said that this year will see the highest-ever number of flights between Greece and America. “This is just the beginning,” he said.
The Delta Airlines flight took off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airpor and Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias was there, along with Pyatt, to receive it.
“We welcome the first direct US flight to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport,” said Kikilias, referring to the airport by name. “We are very happy that it is very, very early this year. This is a vote of confidence in the country and in Greek tourism,” added the minister.
Kikilias said that this summer there will be up to “nine direct flights daily from the US to Greece, which shows how important our effort is – and it will be successful – to bring tourists from America to Greece.” He went on to thank Pyatt for the embassy’s support in bolstering Greek tourism.
On his part, the US ambassador congratulated both Kikilias and Delta for “the first American flight of this tourism year, for which we have great expectations.”
“Greece has so much to offer. Spring is a fantastic time of year here and I’m really excited to have the first of our direct American flights, earlier than ever. This is just the beginning. We will have a record number of direct flights from the US this year,” stressed Pyatt.
He also hailed a Greek initiative for hiring displaced Ukrainians in the tourism sector. “I also want to say, minister, how much I appreciate your clear statements about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also about the tourism ministry’s initiatives to offer jobs in the tourism sector for the Ukrainian people displaced by the violence in their country.
“Therefore, it is wonderful we have some good news today that we are focusing on and I am optimistic we will see a record number of American tourists, who will come to enjoy everything Greece has to offer in the next eight, nine months,” Pyatt said.