Tag: airlines (page 3 of 4)

SkyGreece takes test flight; aims to start 5x weekly service between Athens and New York in June

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SkyGreece airlines flight crew

This image of a flight crew posing beside the SkyGreece Airlines Boeing 767 ER was posted on the SkyGreece Facebook page this past weekend.

 

 

Excitement building: If the traffic to my blog and the number of emails I’ve been receiving recently are an accurate indication, there is a tremendous interest in SkyGreece Airlines — and especially its as-yet-unannounced schedule for flights between Athens and the United States.

For months, SkyGreece has been one of the top 3 most-searched topics on my website, while during the last few weeks I’ve received more email inquiries about SkyGreece than I’ve received about any other subject in the past two years.

People keep asking me when SkyGreece will launch flights to and from New York and Chicago, and also want to know what fares will cost. Some people are even asking if SkyGreece is hiring any flight crew or ground staff in the USA.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to answer any of the questions or provide up-to-date information because SkyGreece hasn’t released any. Until this past weekend.

 

Test flight over Taxiarchis Monastery on Lesvos

According to a news report on the Greek Travel Pages website, SkyGreece conducted a test flight of its Boeing 7667 ER aircraft last Friday, taking a group of airline executives and officials from the Civil Aviation Authority on a flight that passed over the Monastery of Taxiarchis at Mantamados on Lesvos island. The flight was highly symbolic since the SkyGreece plane is named Taxiarchis, after the Greek patron saint of aviators. The next day, SkyGreece updated its Facebook page with two photos of the flight crew posing next to the jet.

Without providing specific details, the GTP report added that SkyGreece will launch its year-round direct flights between Athens and New York City sometime in June.  There will be 5 flights per week between Athens and NYC in the summer, and 2 flights per week during winter. SkyGreece also plans to offer 3 flights per week from Athens to Montreal and Toronto, and at some future unspecified time will launch service to Chicago and to South Africa.

 

Airline awaiting flight permits from USA & Canada

GTP said that SkyGreece has obtained its licence in Greece, and is still waiting to receive permits from the United States and Canada that will allow it to operate scheduled flights to New York and Toronto. Until those permits are received, SkyGreece will offer flights on a charter basis only.

No information was provided about when the flights to Canada will commence, or what fares will cost — so please don’t email me to ask for those details! I do not have contact with anyone at SkyGreece, so I don’t have any “inside information” that I could share with you. I will post that information here on the blog if and when SkyGreece announces its schedules and prices.

And if you’re interested in employment with the airline, keep checking the SkyGreece website for possible career opportunities.  Today, the website indicated that applications for an E-Commerce IT Specialist, based in Athens, are being accepted until April 2.

For my previous reports about SkyGreece, see my January 10 2014 post and my June 25 2013 post.

 

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.

 

Still no word on SkyGreece flights or fares

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SkyGreece Airlines Boeing 767-300 ER

A Greek flag logo adorns the tail of the SkyGreece Airlines 767-300 ER aircraft, seen on the tarmac at Athens International Airport last month. The photo, credited to Panagiotis Karakonstantopoulos, was one of several images posted on the SkyGreece Airlines Facebook page in mid-December 2013.

 

 

Waiting game: Now that we’re into the New Year, we have started making plans for our 2014 trip to Greece. We’re hoping to travel sometime in May, as we usually do, but haven’t yet decided where we might go — or how we will get there.

We had been hoping that SkyGreece Airlines would release its schedule and prices for 2014 by now so we could see how the new carrier’s flight times and prices would compare to those of other airlines offering direct flights from the eastern U.S.A. and Canada to Athens.

We aren’t the only people anxious for more news — thousands of other potential customers have been eager to hear about flight times and fares, too. In fact, SkyGreece is the most-searched subject on MyGreeceTravelBlog, and has held the #1 search position for months.

But while SkyGreece indicated in mid-December that information about its 2014 schedule might be forthcoming soon, its Facebook page hasn’t been updated since before Christmas and there’s still no word on when the upstart airline might begin to accept bookings.

 

SkyGreece posted photos & video on December 14

It appeared that flight news might be imminent when the airline published a series of photos in five separate updates to its Facebook page, all posted on December 14.

The photos included interior and exterior views of the airline’s Boeing 767-300ER and its livery, as well as pictures of the airline’s executive team and pilots. One post included a brief videoclip showing the jet make a low pass at Athens International Airport that afternoon. A caption for one set of photos said more information would be available “in the coming days,” and on the Greek Air News Facebook page “soon”, but it’s now nearly one month later and no further news has been published. The SkyGreece Facebook page hasn’t been updated since those posts went up.

SkyGreece does not provide contact information on either its website or Facebook page, so I haven’t been able to contact the airline to ascertain when it will start flying to North America. The website still consists only of a landing (main) page, with a banner stating: “Direct flights from North America to Athens Summer 2014.”

I will post an update as soon as I obtain any new information about SkyGreece operations.

 

SkyGreece Airlines Boeing 767-300 ER

One of the photos posted on the SkyGreece Facebook page shows the airline’s Boeing 767 making a low pass prior to landing at Athens International Airport on December 14 2013. The photo was shot by Alexander Stamatiadis.

 

Aegean announces seat sale; British Airways offers new direct flights from LHR to Mykonos & Santorini

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Aegean Airlines seat sale poster

This striking sunset view of a blue-domed church in Firostefani village on Santorini illustrates a seat sale promotion that Aegean Airlines announced today

 

Get there cheaper: If you have been thinking about travelling to Greece sometime during the first half of this year, now could be a good time to book your flights — Aegean Airlines has just announced a sale on direct flights to Greece from more than two dozen destinations in Europe and the Middle East.

In an email sent to customers and followers today, Aegean advises that fares are available at savings up to 30 per cent for travel between February 10 and June 30 of this year.  The seat sale applies to direct Athens-bound flights from 22 different cities, as well as to its direct flights to Heraklion, Kalamata, Corfu, Rhodes and Thessaloniki from various locations.

The promotion ends January 20.

 

British Airways launches new routes in early May

While Aegean’s sale will make springtime trips to Greece cheaper for many travellers, two new British Airways routes will make it easier for people to get to two of the most popular islands in Greece — Mykonos and Santorini.

Starting May 3, BA will fly direct to Mykonos on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Terminal 5 at London’s  Heathrow Airport. The BA website says fares are as low as £85 one-way.

And beginning May 4, BA will fly direct to Santorini on Wednesdays and Sundays, also from Heathrow’s Terminal 5. According to BA’s new route announcement, fares will be as low as £175 one-way.

Those flights are bound to be a big hit with travellers who want to maximize their island time without having to stop over or catch a connecting flight in Athens.

Check the British Airways website for further fare and flight information.

 

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