Category: Air travel (page 1 of 5)

New Emirates route will link Athens and Newark with non-stop daily flights year-round

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Emirates airline Boeing 777

An Emirates airline photo of the Boeing-777-300ER-2 aircraft it will fly on a new route linking Athens to Newark beginning in March

 

Four season flights:  There’s good news for North American travellers: Getting to Greece from the USA both during and outside the peak season summer months will soon be a lot easier.

Emirates airline today announced a new route that will provide daily non-stop service between Athens International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport — year-round.  It will be the first time since 2012 that an airline will offer daily non-stops from the USA to Greece all year long.

The non-stop transatlantic service is part of a new Dubai – Athens – Newark route that will launch on March 12 2017.

Emirates will fly a Boeing-777-300ER-2 on the route, providing 8 seats in first class, 42 in business class, and 304 in economy.

 

“Emirates flight EK209 will depart Dubai at 10:50 local time, arriving in Athens at 14:25 before departing again at 16:40 and arriving into Newark at 22:00 on the same day. The return flight EK210 will depart Newark at 23:45 local time, arriving in Athens the next day at 15:05. EK210 will depart once again from Athens at 17:10 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 23:50, facilitating convenient onward connections to over 50 Emirates destinations in India, the Far East and Australia,” the airline said in its media release.

“Passengers in all cabin classes can enjoy the friendly service from Emirates’ international cabin crew, meals prepared by gourmet chefs, and over 2,500 channels of the latest movies, TV shows, and music hits on its award-winning ice inflight entertainment system,” the announcement added.

While the new Emirates route will greatly facilitate travel to Greece for Americans, it also will benefit travellers in Toronto and other parts of eastern Canada by providing a possibly more convenient alternative to flying to a major European city and then catching a flight to Athens. I’ve been considering off-season trips to Greece, so the forthcoming Emirates service is welcome news to me personally, as I’m sure it will be for the large Greek communities in Toronto, Montreal and the New York City area.

 

Festive music and fun for kids at Athens airport on Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve

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 Athens airport Christmas and New Year events

Special music and children’s entertainment events will be held Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at Athens International Airport

 

Travel treats: Athens International Airport will be sharing the holiday spirit with special festive music and fun for kids on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both of those days, the airport will be treating travellers to live music and entertainment, as well as fun events specially geared to children, in the open access area of the terminal’s departures level.

The entertainment lineup for both December 24 and December 31  includes:

♦ appearances by two Happy Mascots — the Christmas Elf and the “living toy,” Miss Carousel — who will entertain children with acrobatic tricks, wish cards and photo opportunities

♦ the wind-up Living Statue, who will delight travellers near Entrances 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the open access area of the departures floor; and

♦ the Transformation Booth, where visitors can choose fun accessories and props for photo-taking. The booth will be at  Entrance 2 for the check-in counters.

On Christmas Eve, the Experimental Music School of Pallini will present a musical program of carols and all-time-favourite Christmas classics. The ensemble includes students who specialize in Greek and international traditional music and who play traditional instruments. The performance will take place from 12:00 to 12:45 in the open access section of the airport shopping center on the departure floor.

On New Year’s Eve, the Athens-based band Vanila Swing will help travellers bid farewell to 2015 with a live swing concert featuring the group’s trademark blend of 50s rockabilly and 40s swing with a fresh rock’n’ roll twist. The concert will take place from 12:00 to 13:00 in the open access section of the airport shopping center on the departure level.

The holiday festivities are a collaborative effort between Athens International Airport and the ελculture cultural platform.

SkyGreece starting Athens to New York service on June 19

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SkyGreece Airlines Beoing 767-300 ER aircraft

SkyGreece Airlines photo of its Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft

 

SkyGreece Airlines has announced that it will commence service between Athens and New York on June 19.

At a press conference in Athens yesterday, SkyGreece officials said the airline has long-term plans to add flights to Boston and Chicago as well.

Details of the airline’s announcements were reported in Greek media yesterday, and also were posted on the SkyGreece Facebook page.  As of this morning, however, the New York route had not been added to the SkyGreece website, so online booking and price information for flights between Athens and NYC is still unavailable.

 

Service to Toronto starts May 24

Earlier this year, SkyGreece announced that it would start flights between Athens and Toronto beginning on May 17.  But yesterday’s announcement said that route will begin one week later — on May 24.

In March, SkyGreece announced that flights between Thessaloniki and Toronto would commence on May 20, but at yesterday’s press event the airline said the first flight on that route will be June 18 and will include a stopover at Budapest.

The SkyGreece website says the airline has only one aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 767-300 ER that seats 274 passengers, but media were told yesterday that the company also has an Airbus A340-300 that carries 300 passengers.

SkyGreece has a strategic alliance with BH Air of Bulgaria to offer service between Europe and North America, and plans to add six more aircraft to its fleet. Starting on June 26, the airline will offer a flight from Athens to Zagreb and Toronto.

Click here to see my previous posts about SkyGreece.

SkyGreece launches new website with online booking

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SkyGreece Airlines

A screen capture of the home page for the new SkyGreece Airlines website, which went live today (April 7 2015)

 

Travellers curious to check SkyGreece Airlines fares and schedules, or book seats, can do so online now that SkyGreece has launched a new website.

The airline announced on Facebook today that its new site — featuring fast and easy online booking — has gone live.

The new site makes it a breeze to check prices and routes for the airline’s service between Athens, Toronto and Montreal, and between Thessaloniki and Toronto. Since March 21, when SkyGreece first announced that flights were available for booking, customers had to phone an airline reservation representative or contact a travel agent to obtain further information.

Out of curiosity, I checked fares and availability for the dates I am already booked to travel to and from Greece next month, and discovered I would have saved about $100 flying economy class on SkyGreece.

The airline offers three fare categories: economy, “economy flex” and premium.

I have reported extensively on SkyGreece Airlines … click here to see my previous posts.

SkyGreece offering $899 fare for flights from Montreal & Toronto to Athens & Thessaloniki

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SkyGreece Airlines

SkyGreece posted this promotional offer on its Facebook page March 21

 

[Editor’s note: this post was updated March 25 with information about Toronto-Athens and Toronto-Thessaloniki fares]

 

Fare deals: SkyGreece Airlines has finally released introductory fares for its new Toronto to Athens, Toronto to Thessaloniki  and Montreal to Athens routes, which launch on May 17, 20 and 23, respectively.

In a post on the SkyGreece Facebook page March 21, the airline announced that economy class fares for a limited number of round-trip flights between Montreal and Athens will start at $899 (taxes included) for departures between May 23 and June 13. The price includes advance seat selection and two pieces of luggage weighing up to 40 kg.  Presumably, the price is in Canadian dollars.

Fares must be booked before March 27 either through travel agents or by calling SkyGreece’s North American reservations desk at 1-855-781-8585.

A “comfort class” option is available; however, the Facebook page announcement does not indicate what those particular seats cost.

The $899 fare breaks down to $334 for the flight and $565 for applicable taxes, fees and surcharges.

 

Flights from Toronto to Athens & Thessaloniki

In a Facebook post on March 25, SkyGreece announced that prices for its direct flights from Toronto to Athens and Toronto to Thessaloniki will start at $899 (taxes included) for departures between May 17 and June 14. These seats must be booked by April 4, and include the same advance seat selection and luggage allowances as on the Montreal to Athens flights.

As I reported in a January 29 post, the airline said it will offer three flights per week between Toronto and Athens, commencing May 17. A once-weekly flight from Toronto to Thessaloniki will start on May 20, and the Montreal to Athens route will begin operations on May 23.

The new airline will offer Canadian travellers an alternative to Air Transat and Air Canada rouge, which until now have been the only airlines with direct flights between Canada and Greece. The Transat and rouge flights are only seasonal, however, whereas SkyGreece is proposing to fly year-round.

Earlier this month, the Internet has been abuzz with word that return SkyGreece flights could be booked online for as low as US $415, including all taxes and fees. (That would be CDN $521 under current exchange rates.) Several people contacted me to say they had seen these prices on Google Flights Explore; however, when I checked, I couldn’t find any SkyGreece flights listed at all. Another person later told me he had seen a July return fare of CDN $561 for a July 5 flight.

The $899 special fare is a good deal — but I’m glad I didn’t delay booking my next trip to Greece to see if I could save money once SkyGreece released its prices. I found an even cheaper fare on Air Transat in early January and will be flying to Athens on that airline for the 11th time this spring.

Still, I’m sure the seats available at that price will be snapped up quickly. It will be interesting to see how SkyGreece’s regular fares will compare to those offered by its competition. The new routes could be appealing not just to Canadian travellers, but also to Americans living in border states a reasonable driving distance from Montreal and Toronto. With the US greenback so strong against the Canadian dollar at the moment — US $1 = CDN $1.26 at today’s exchange rates — more Americans are bound to consider flying to Greece from Canada this year.

 

SkyGreece Airlines

On March 25, SkyGreece posted this announcement about promotional fares for direct flights from Toronto to Athens and Toronto to Thessaloniki

 

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