Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias has underlined the deepening strategic relationship with the United States, whose culmination, he told the Travel Leaders forum at Lagonisi, eastern Attica, was the establishment of nine direct flights a day between Greece and America’s largest airports, corresponding to 63 flights per week.
“We have never had 500,000 travelers directly from America at [Athens’] Eleftherios Venizelos [Airport] – coming from Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia with all three American carriers – with the first flight having started as early as 7 March, earlier than any other year. Of course, all this did not happen by accident. Nor are these just facts and figures. It is the…result of collective, hard and methodical work, Kikilias said.
Kikilias added that the goal now is to extend these flight schedules beyond the summer months. “Our main priority, already from the beginning of this year’s very successful summer season, is to extend the tourist season in our country. In June alone, visitor arrivals from the other side of the Atlantic were 50% higher than in 2019. And I am especially happy that our efforts are paying off, as I am informed that most companies have already extended their itineraries for the next months,” he said.
On the sidelines of the forum, Kikilias had private contacts with the representatives of the American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines, who reportedly noted that Greece – and Athens especially – emerged as one of their most successful international destinations this year. As a result, an extension of flights into the autumn-winter period as well is already under discussion.
According to information reported by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) on Tuesday, Delta, following the launch in 2022 of a direct Athens-Boston flight for the first time after 25 years, has already scheduled flights to Greece through January 10, 2023, on the New York-Athens route, thus also covering the Christmas-New Year holidays. [AMNA]