Island-hopping’s new heights

Island-hopping’s new heights

Greece’s central and local authorities have prepared a luxury travel option for visitors that takes island-hopping to new heights and will initially provide for air slots at the airports of three marvelous Greek islands, bringing together three new air tourism destinations through one common goal.

The first air visit synergy in Greece, involving the islands of Astypalaia, Kastellorizo and Milos, has just begun, with the three destinations dynamically making their mark on the tourism map.

This pioneering action took place last Saturday, when two private aircraft took off with the final destinations of Astypalaia and Milos in a pilot program for Greece’s regional airports outside of their operating hours for commercial flights.

This is an initiative jointly undertaken in 2021 by the ministries of Infrastructure and Transport and Tourism, the Civil Aviation Authority, as well as the municipalities of Astypalaia, Kastellorizo ​​and Milos, with the cooperation of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA Hellas) and the Hellenic Pilots Association.

A strategic advantage of this cooperation is the expansion of the connection of these three islands with destinations and means that could not be supported until today by airlines’ commercial flights due to the limited specifications of their airports.

The pilot program foresees that flights to these three airports will be carried out from sunrise to sunset and only outside the airport’s operating hours for commercial flights, with flight safety requirements satisfied.

To promote air tourism in Greece the two ministries have now set up a special inter-ministerial working group to plan and implement further joint actions.

“Air tourism can be a powerful tool for the development of the economy, contributing revenue to the state coffers, but also to the wallet of the average Greek family, throughout the year,” stated Deputy Minister of Tourism Sofia Zacharaki.

“These three airports are the first pilot of the action, whose development will eventually apply to all Greek regional airports,” added the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry’s General Secretary of Transport Giannis Xifaras.

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