Tag: Aegean Airlines (page 1 of 2)

Aegean in-flight magazine lauds the marvels of Milos

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Aegean Airlines Blue magazine cover image

Fashion model Vasilianna strikes a pose on one of the seaside rock formations at spectacular Sarakiniko beach on Milos island in the Cyclades. The photo, by Olympia Krasagaki, graces the cover of the summer 2014 edition of Blue, the in-flight magazine of Aegean Airlines.

 

Cover story: One of my favourite islands will be getting a lot of international attention over the next three months thanks to Aegean Airlines.

Milos is pictured not only on the cover of the airline’s in-flight magazine Blue this summer, but also in a Nature focus article as well as in a fashion photo spread featuring some of the island’s breathtaking beaches and magnificent coastal scenery.

The articles laud Milos for its “extraordinary beauty,” “spectacular coastline” and gorgeous beaches, and points out that the volcanic island also “has plenty of pretty, traditional villages, ancient monuments, excellent local cuisine and an overall air of elegance.”

Milos is, of course, one of the splendid island destinations that can easily be reached from Athens on daily flights by Olympic Air, which merged with Aegean several years ago.

The release of the summer 2014 edition of Blue was announced today on the Aegean Airlines International Facebook page.

The 340-page glossy magazine will be available to passengers flying Aegean during the next three months, and also can be viewed online in an e-book format available on the airline’s website. Click here to peruse the online edition.

The magazine cover photo shows a fashion model posing on the seaside at Sarakiniko, which is one of the most fascinating and impressive coastal landscapes I’ve seen out of all the Greek islands I’ve been fortunate to visit so far.

More pictures of Sarakiniko are included in a women’s fashion feature that starts on page 212. The fashion spread includes photos shot at other spectacular locations on Milos, including the colourful fishing village at Klima, the picturesque mountain town of Plaka, the scenic seaside at Fyriplaka beach, and the Glaronissia islets off the north coast of the island near Pollonia.

 Aegean Airlines Blue magazine

The coastline at Fyriplaka beach provides a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop for this fashion photo by Olympia Krasagaki. Click here to open the online edition of Blue magazine and view full-size photos of the superlative Milos scenery.

 

Places to see, eat and drink on Milos

The Nature focus Milos: natural wonder begins at page 116 and includes amazing photos of the majestic coastal rock formations at Kleftiko and the incomparable Papafragas, a sliver of sandy beach wedged between tall stone walls. The article describes popular tourist and natural attractions on Milos, including some of the island’s 75 remarkable beaches, and suggests places to eat and drink.

Restaurant recommendations include our personal favourite O Chamos at Papakinou beach in the port town of Adamas, as well as Archontoula and Fatses in Plaka, Ergina in Tripiti, Enalion in Pollonia, and a few others.

For nice spots to enjoy a drink, the magazine’s picks include Akri and Mikro in Adamas, along with Gatis, Bakaliko and Utopia Café in Plaka (see my April 4 2012 post Utopian sunsets on Milos for photos of the sensational sunset views from the terrace at Utopia Café’s outdoor terrace).

 

Profiles for other island & mainland destinations

Although Milos claimed bragging rights to the cover photo and two feature articles, it isn’t the only must-see Greek destination profiled in Blue magazine. The summer issue is packed with beguiling photos and interesting travel information about 17 other intriguing islands as well as several cities and regions on the mainland.

For foodies, there are appetizing descriptions of new restaurants that have opened recently on the islands of Rhodes and Mykonos, as well as in Halkidiki.

For fans of arts and culture, there are articles about the 2014 Sani Festival in Halkidi, plus the impressive Viannos Art Gallery in Keratokambos, a small town situated at the southernmost point on Crete.

And for travellers who’d like to plan some island hopping, there are informative reports on things to see and do on Syros, Kasos, Paros, Corfu, Kos, Leros, Naxos, Lemnos, Ikaria, Kastellorizo, Kefalonia, Santorini, Rhodes and Astipalia — all accompanied by captivating full-colour photos.

If you’re lucky to be flying Aegean while the summer edition of Blue is available, be sure to collect a free copy from the seat pocket — it will be an excellent research resource for future Greek holiday planning. (And please get a copy for me!)

 Thalassitra Church Milos

If you haven’t been to Milos and want to see why it was an outstanding choice for Blue magazine’s cover, check out my Milos photo collection on Flickr. It includes images of Milos landmarks like Thalassitra Church at Plaka village (above).

 

Travel tip: Avoid taking a large carry-on case when flying Olympic Air to small Greek island airports

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Olympic Air De Havilland DHC-8-402Q aircraft

An Olympic Air media photo of one of its De Havilland DHC-8-402Q aircraft. The airline flies smaller prop planes to Naxos and several other islands.

 

 

Carry small!: Here’s a tip for those of you (especially from North America) who tend to travel with a large carry-on bag, particularly one of those 22-inch hard-sided cases with wheels and a pull handle. If you’re going to be flying Olympic Air to or from islands like Naxos, Paros, Milos, Syros or Kastelorizo, your case probably won’t fit in the overhead bins. So travel with a smaller bag instead, or be prepared for the possibility your carry-on may have to be checked in at the gate when you’re about to board.

Olympic Air uses Bombardier Dash 8-100 aircraft on its routes to a number of Greek islands with small airports. Although the 37-passenger propeller planes are ideal for serving destinations with short runways, their compact interior space isn’t so convenient for passengers since the overhead bins are shallow and significantly smaller than the ones on Boeing and Airbus planes.

 

Carry-on cases may have to be checked at the gate

Several Americans waiting for our Olympic Air flight from Athens to Naxos last month were taken aback when airline personnel approached them in the lounge at our gate and advised that their bags were too big to be taken on board. The cases were tagged and given to ground crew for delivery to the aircraft luggage hold.

When we got on board, we thought our knapsacks — which held fragile laptops and camera equipment, along with travel paperwork and other personal belongings we couldn’t afford to lose — might wind up being checked, too. The knapsacks easily fit under the seats on the Dash-8’s we have flown from Milos, Paros and Naxos in the last three years, but for this particular flight we were assigned bulkhead seats in Row 1. That meant there was no seat in front of us under which we could slide our carry-ons, so they had to go somewhere else. But they each were about an inch too wide to scrunch into the narrow overhead bins. Luckily for us, the flight attendant offered to store them in the lavatory for take-off and landing. But she could just as easily have insisted they be checked into the hold.

 

Brilliant carry-on advice from Condé Nast Traveler

Next time we travel, we’ll prepare in advance for the possibility our carry-ons might get gate-checked — using advice I read in an online Condé Nast Traveler magazine article just the other day.  The #1 item in the magazine’s list of The 12 Biggest Travel Mistakes You Think You’re Too Smart to Make recommends putting important valuables “in a thin pack or pouch inside your carry-on” so that, in the event you’re required to surrender the case at the last minute, “you can remove the smaller bag and keep an eye on it beneath the seat in front of you.”

Brilliant suggestion! To which I’ll add one of my own: Tell the check-in staff you don’t want a front-row bulkhead seat!

Note: If you’re travelling to Greek Islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes or Kos on Aegean Airlines, you’ll be flying on an Airbus jet aircraft, not a prop plane, and the overhead bins should be big enough to accommodate your carry-on. But it will still be a good idea to be prepared as Condé Nast recommends.

Click here to see the allowed baggage limits section of the Olympic Air website, and click here to view the Aegean Airlines baggage allowance chart.

 

More flights & routes to Greece this summer as Ryanair opens new bases in Athens & Thessaloniki

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Ryanair aircraft photo

A Ryanair media image of one of the aircraft in its fleet of more than 300 Boeing 737-800s. The low-fare airline is opening new bases in Athens and Thessaloniki, and is adding new flight routes to Greece.

 

 

More flights: Getting to Greece is becoming a lot easier — and cheaper — with low-cost airline Ryanair announcing today that it will establish bases in Athens and Thessaloniki, and will add nine new flight routes in April.

The new bases and flights are part of a $280 million (U.S.) investment that Irish-based is making in Greece, which last year experienced a strong increase in tourist visits that could be matched or even exceeded in 2014.

Beginning in April, two aircraft will be based at Ryanair’s new operations centre in Athens. They will enable Ryanair to offer 154 flights per week on six new routes — to the Greek cities of Chania, Rhodes and Thessaloniki, to Paphos in Cyprus, and to London and Milan.

Also starting in April, one aircraft will be based at Thessaloniki, This will give Ryanair the opportunity to provide up to 212 weekly flights to Athens, Pisa and Warsaw.

Ryanair already has one base in Greece — at Chania airport.

 

Travellers will benefit from cheaper fares

In a media announcement about the airline’s expansion into Greece, Ryanair’s director of commercial operations, David O’Brien, said the new routes will benefit consumers who until now have not had a cheaper alternative to Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air, which currently dominate flights in the Greek travel market.

“Our 6 new Athens routes will allow Greek consumers and visitors to escape Aegean/Olympic’s high fares and instead enjoy Ryanair’s lowest fares and industry leading customer service and punctuality. Only Ryanair, with its 175 new aircraft order, can deliver the capacity, new markets and low costs demanded by Greek consumers and visitors, and looks forward to working with Athens Airport to unlock the vast potential currently suppressed by high access air costs,” Mr. O’Brien said.

 

Ryanair investment could create 2,800+ jobs

The new operations bases and flights will benefit more than just travellers booking Ryanair flights — they will create thousands of jobs and give the struggling Greek economy a big boost, too.

Ryanair estimates that its Thessaloniki base will handle 1.6 million passengers annually and will create 1,600 on-site jobs. It expects the Athens base to handle over 1.2 million passengers a year, and create more than 1,200 jobs.

Flights on the new routes to and from Thessaloniki and Athens will go on sale Wednesday, January 15.

If you have free time to travel in Europe during February or March, check out the special seat sale that Ryanair is offering to celebrate its expansion in Greece. Until midnight on Thursday January 16, the airline is releasing 100,000 seats with fares starting as low as £16.99. Bookings can be made at www.ryanair.com.

 

Winter edition of Aegean’s in-flight magazine shines spotlight on Athens’ top cultural attractions

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Aegean Airlines Blue magazine

Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou descends the Renaissance-styled staircase at the National Library of Greece in Athens in the cover photo for the Winter 2013-2014 edition of Blue, the in-flight magazine of Aegean Airlines.

 

No flight required: If you haven’t been to Athens before, or haven’t spent much time there, the current issue of the Aegean Airlines in-flight magazine presents plenty of good reasons why you should book a first-time or a longer repeat visit to explore “the eternal capital of culture.”

With its “Rediscover Athens” cover feature, the Winter 2013-2014 edition of Blue magazine explains “why we love Athens” and shines the spotlight on the city’s top cultural attractions — Athens’ history, museums, architectural landmarks and monuments; its city squares, hills, mountains and landmark streets; its wealth of cultural activities and its exciting culinary landscape; and its extensive, vibrant seafront.

 

Photos of world-famous Athens attractions

The feature includes a fashion photo shoot in which acclaimed Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou poses at some of the city’s outstanding landmarks, including the fabulous Acropolis Museum, the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Stoa of Attalos, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, and the Monastery of Kaisariani.

Maria also poses at the enormous construction site for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, a spectacular new complex which will ultimately be home to several new Athens cultural attractions — the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera, and the Stavros Niarchos Park. The immense size of the building site, as well as the cluster of at least eight tall construction cranes towering above it, grabbed my attention when we passed by last October. Considering the severe financial crisis that has firmly gripped Greece for the past five years, I had not been expecting to see such a vast construction area with so many cranes in one place. But it’s a promising, bright sign that Athens remains one of Europe’s top cultural centres despite Greece’s economic woes.

Blue magazine’s “Rediscover Athens” profile also includes an “Insider’s Athens” report in which Maria describes her favourite city hangouts.

Don’t fret if you’re not taking an Aegean Airlines flight in the near future — the seatback pockets on Aegean’s aircraft aren’t the only places to find a copy of Blue magazine. The full 228-page winter edition is available online in e-book format, so you can read the feature story and peruse the ads and other articles wherever you may be. Click here to view the issue.

 

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