German flag carrier Lufthansa has decided to increase its seat capacity for Greek destinations in 2021. In particular, it will be boosting the number of direct flights to many of the 14 regionals airports that fellow German company Fraport operates.
The fact that Greece remains among the top destinations for German travelers, even amid a pandemic, is one of the reasons why Lufthansa has decided to fly directly to several Greek islands next year, market sources tell Kathimerini. They add that the strategy of the German airline is focused on strengthening its services to destinations about two to three hours from its main hubs – Frankfurt and Munich. This is because potential passengers do not consider the duration of such flights as prohibitive for health reasons, while long-haul flights, such as those across the Atlantic, are set to continue their decline next year too.
In 2019 Greece collected some 3 billion euros from tourism originating from Germany – i.e. 16.7% of all its tourism takings – thanks to 4 million German visitors. Their per capita expenditure in Greece came to €735, one of the highest.
This year Germany remains one of the top three markets across all Greek destinations, of course far below last year’s record figures. Even so the decline in German visitors in 2020 has not been as dramatic as that of Britons or Americans.
Next season’s Lufthansa services will begin in April and last till end-October, with the company continuing its Frankfurt-Thessaloniki service throughout the year. After using the Fraport-managed airports in 2019 only for flights from Frankfurt to Santorini and from Munich to Santorini and Corfu (besides the Athens and Thessaloniki services), the German carrier will next year add direct routes from Munich to Rhodes and from Frankfurt to Rhodes, Mykonos, Kos, Kavala, Hania, Aktio and Corfu.
According to information shared with the Greek government, the new Lufthansa services will be offered about three times per week, and, depending on the response of travelers, could become even more frequent. There is optimism that this may actually take place, as early signs about next year’s holiday bookings from Germany are very promising, while Greece is the top preference for Germans making last-minute bookings for this month.