Tag: SkyGreece (page 1 of 2)

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

 

SkyGreece Airlines will launch service to Canada on May 17

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SkyGreece Airlines Boeing jeet

SkyGreece Airlines posted this photo of its Boeing 767-300ER  aircraft to its Facebook page today.

 

Routes revealed: Travellers will have more choices for direct flights between Canada and Greece beginning Sunday May 17.

That’s the day SkyGreece Airlines is expected to launch service between Athens and Toronto, with three flights per week.  On Wednesday May 20, SkyGreece will start a once-weekly flight to Toronto from Thessaloniki, and on Saturday May 23 it will debut a once-weekly departure from Athens to Montreal.

More good news: SkyGreece will offer service during winter months, too, with two flights per week from November 2015 until April 2016. (The flights to and from Thessaloniki will only be seasonal, however.)

Canadian charter airline Air Transat and Air Canada rouge, a “leisure” division of Air Canada, are the only carriers presently offering direct flights between the two countries — and only during the spring to fall travel period.

 

First-ever service between Thessaloniki and Canada

SkyGreece will become the first carrier to offer scheduled commercial service between Thessaloniki and Canada. The two Canadian airlines fly to and from Athens only.

The SkyGreece transatlantic schedule was revealed January 30 on the Greek Air News Facebook page. The Greek Air News report did not include any information about fares for the flights between Canada and Greece. Curiously, SkyGreece didn’t make any announcement about its new routes on either its website or its Facebook page on January 30. It did, however, post two photos of its single Boeing 767 aircraft on Facebook (including the one I have republished at the top of this post) along with the comment “The family will be growing soon!!”, which suggests SkyGreece may soon be adding more aircraft to its fleet.

But on January 31, SkyGreece did post news of its routes (indicating slightly different service starting dates than Greek Air News had mentioned.) “We have listened to the continuous demand of the Greek community in Canada and in Greece and decided to develop our flight schedule to meet the demand.,” the airline stated on its Facebook page.

 

Executive appointments announced

As I reported in a January 21 post, SkyGreece received Canadian regulatory approval this month to commence scheduled service between the European Community and Canada. In an announcement about the Canadian Transportation Agency decision, SkyGreece promised to unveil its “new and exciting flight program” within days.

A private company based in Athens, SkyGreece has offices in Montreal, Toronto and New York.

On January 26 the airline announced the appointment of Denis Codere as its deputy chief commercial officer, and on January 28 it announced the appointments of Eleni Kessaris and Louise Cofsky to director positions on its Canadian management team.

 

 

Agency approves SkyGreece bid for licence to fly to Canada

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SkyGreece Airlines aircraft

Facebook page photo of the SkyGreece Airlines aircraft

 

Application approved: Canadian travellers may soon have a third option for direct flights to and from Athens now that the Canadian Transportation Agency has approved SkyGreece Airlines’ application to offer scheduled service between Canada and Greece.

In a ruling released January 20, the Agency said it has approved the SkyGreece request “for a licence to operate scheduled international services between member states of the European Community and Canada.”

SkyGreece is a private company incorporated in Athens, It has offices in Montreal, Toronto and New York.

In a post on the SkyGreece Airlines Facebook page today, the airline said it is “extemely happy” with the Agency’s long-awaited decision.

“More great news about SkyGreece Airlines S.A. and its new and exciting flight program will be unveiled in the next few days,” the airline added.

There is no word yet on the results of SkyGreece’s similar application for a licence to offer service between Greece and the USA.

As I reported in a March 25 2014 blog post, Greek media had reported that SkyGreece was hoping to commence flights between Greece and New York during the summer of 2014. But the applications for licences to fly to Canada and America took longer than expected, and as I reported in a post on June 18 2014, SkyGreece began operating charter flights to certain destinations in Europe and north Africa instead.

Although SkyGreece has only one aircraft at present, service to Canada would give travellers an alternative to Air Canada and Air Transat, which are the only Canadian airlines currently offering direct flights between Canada and Greece.

I’ve been curious to see how competitive the SkyGreece fares will be, but even if they’re dirt cheap I won’t be flying SkyGreece to Athens — I’ve already booked flights with Air Transat for my next Greek holiday this spring. But if their prices are good, and their schedule reasonable, I definitely would consider SkyGreece for subsequent flights.

I will keep you posted on any forthcoming route and fare announcements from the airline.

 

SkyGreece now listed on signs at Athens airport … but still no news on flights to North America

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SkyGreece Airlines posted this photo on its Facebook page today, announcing that its name was just added to signage at Athens International Airport

 

 

Sign of things to come?: SkyGreece Airlines is one step closer to commencing flights — its name was added to signage on the departures level of Athens International Airport today, in preparation for tomorrow’s launch of charter service to Stockholm.

The photo shown above was posted on the SkyGreece Facebook page at what was lunchtime for the four North American cities to which it is supposed to eventually offer service — Montreal and Toronto in Canada, and New York and Chicago in the United States.

The photo was accompanied by the comment: “Officially today our sign went up at Athens International Airport,” but no further information was provided about possible schedules or fares.

The upstart airline’s last news release had been posted March 31 on its Facebook page, announcing that it had submitted documentation required to obtain all necesssary licences and permits from the American and Canadian Civil Aviation Authorities. It added that, “in order to respect the American and Canadian Civil Aviation procedures,” SkyGreece would not issue any further press releases until all required licences had been obtained.

Hours after posting the sign photo to its Facebook page today, SkyGreece added a post confirming that it will operate on a charter service basis until it secures the necessary legal paperwork to begin flying to North America, and will not comment further until that happens.

 

Charter service to Scandinavia, Eritrea and Somalia

The latest post drew swift reaction on social media, quickly receiving hundreds of “likes” and dozens of comments on Facebook.

In one comment, a Facebook member said: “First flight out tomorrow departing at 17:00 hours from Athens to Stockholm, Sweden! Routes will be as of June to / from Asmara – Eritrea, Mogadishu – Somalia, Stockholm – Sweden and London Gatwick – UK. Hope to see some more coming in soon. Good luck!

I thought the remark about flights to Africa was just a joke, but the fellow who posted the comment said he wasn’t kidding.

The US and Canada will be coming in at some point, as I gather once the permits have been granted from their Civil Aviation Authorities. It’s not so easy when one is new and wants to come in and have some of that pie that has been enjoyed all this time by Delta, US Air, Air Transat and Air Canada. I think we just need to be a little patient,” he said.

 

First flight to Stockholm on June 19

The Greek Air News Facebook page subsequently posted a photo of the sole SkyGreece airplane along with a statement confirming that the airline’s first commercial flight will indeed be to Stockholm, at 17:00 on June 19.

The airline SkyGreece signed a cooperation agreement with the Swedish Tour Operator Flyolympic.Se and on account of it flies in Europe, Africa and Asia,” an English translation of  the Greek Air News post indicates. “SkyGreece will perform and flights from – to Athens-London (Gatwick)-Stockholm (Arlanda)-Asmara (Eritrea)-Mogadishu (Somalia) For more information and ticket reservations, you can visit the official website www.flyolympic.se or FlyOlympic to your travel agent. Good start SkyGreece!!” the translated post concludes.

So perhaps there is a huge demand for flights between Greece and Mogadishu after all. Nevertheless, I’m hopeful SkyGreece will soon be able to announce fares and flights to North America — if their prices are competitive and their flight dates are decent, I would consider them for a return trip to Greece later this summer.

I previously reported on SkyGreece in posts published on the blog on March 25 2014, January 10 2014, and June 25 2013. Click on the links for each of those reports to see photos and obtain more information about SkyGreece Airlines. And stay tuned for further updates.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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