US Airways is starting direct flights from Athens to Philadelphia on May 26 until October 6, departing every day at 11.20 a.m. from Athens and at 4 p.m. from Philadelphia, company officials announced yesterday. «This is a bold step. It creates a whole new market for tourism in Greece and opens the doors to business between the two countries,» said US Ambassador in Athens Charles Ries, welcoming the new service. US Airways is the latest in a string of companies offering direct flights between the USA and Greece, as the country is growing more and more popular with Americans: «Athens has been the quickest city to build up bookings, ahead of Brussels and Zurich, where we will also fly,» said the airline’s managing director for international sales, Eric Mathieu. «There is great, great interest in Greece, especially after the 2004 Olympics. We have had huge support from the Greek National Tourism Organization, which is spending a lot of money on advertising. Everywhere I go in the States, I see a very nice poster of Greece,» Mathieu told Kathimerini English Edition.