mitris From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15007 times:
The airline will start direct flights from Athens to North America this summer. They will be using A340-300 equipment to destinations such as New York, Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto.
I'm not sure how the airline will be successful using A340-300 aircrafts (consuming more fuel), after Qatar's announcement of having direct flights from ATH to JFK all year long, and competing with airlines such as AC, DL, US during season times.
3rdGen From Bahrain, joined Jul 2011, 208 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 14465 times:
^^ Thats the most obvious Photoshop job I've ever seen. The top of the last E in "GREECE" is in midair. Really poor effort by whoever did this, 4/10. Airfleets.net records SX-DFA as being an Olympic registered A340-300, no mention of SkyGreece.
On another note, wonder how this effects QRs plans? Clearly there's a big hole in the US-Greece market that someone needs to fill.
Anyway, time will tell if SkyGreece will be successful. However, Hellenic Imperial followed the same plan by starting flights to JFK almost 2 years ago, but unfortunately they had to terminate them. I wonder if that route would have been successful if it was operated by the A340-300s they had on order instead of their old B747-200s.
I believe QR will be do just fine. It's not a start up airline, it is profitable, and the B787 will be a very efficient aircraft compared to the A340-300 that SkyGreece Airlines is planning to operate.
skyduster From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 13742 times:
If this is a real airline, my instinct is that they'll end up with the same fate as Hellenic Imperial.
The so-called "diaspora market" just isn't enough to fill seats. That's exactly what this airline is banking on, just by the fact that they'll only be serving New York, Montreal, Toronto, and Chicago, and will be ignoring potentially more lucrative routes within Europe and to/from the Middle East. IMO, they're more likely to be successful if they start small, and look for short-haul flights that are underserved, especially in countries like Poland and Russia whose economies are growing, and from where more and more tourists to Greece are coming from. Not counting tourists that arrived by cruise ship, more Poles arrived in Greece in 2011 than Americans. 435,000 Poles arrived in Greece in 2011, vs 388,000 Americans, according to Greece's tourism statistics available at statistics.gr
Another good idea for a start-up airline in Greece is for an ATH hub with certain key domestic and short-haul European/MidEast routes, with the eventual aim of a code-sharing deal with DL, since DL may soon be losing OA as a code-share partner, if OA is to be bought out by and merged into Aegean which is a Star Alliance member. (Aegean and Olympic previously tried a merger, which was denied by the European competitions commission, on anti-competitive grounds, but Aegean and OA have launched a new merger bid, believing that certain elements have changed and that they can now achieve EU approval).
Chicago has never been able to sustain direct non-stop flights to Athens. If Chicago has, say, 60,000 Greek-Americans (people with recent ancestry from Greece, and who still have relatives in and connections with Greece), the airline will need every single one of those people to fly to Athens twice a year, every year, in order to justify sending a 300-seater A340/330 or B767 back and forth on a daily basis...or at least once a year, but still every year to justify thrice-weekly flights. Either that, or a 200-seater with a considerable first-class section, which won't sell out on this heavily leisure route that lacks options to connect to destinations beyond ATH (like DOH, DXB, AUH, etc). It's just not going to happen, especially with the countless indirect options that are out there via JFK, PHL, LHR, CDG, FCO, MAD, FRA, AMS, IST, WAW, you name it...
The other 3 cities (Toronto, Montreal, New York) already have non-stop service to Athens. YUL-ATH and ATH, though seasonal (this is a seasonal market after all), are served by both Air Canada and Air Transat. New York has seasonal direct flights with Delta and, soon, year-round with Qatar. And let's not forget PHL-ATH seasonal service with USair. And before both the fiscal crisis in Greece and the US recession, DL also did ATL-ATH seasonal, JFK-ATH was year-round, and CO did seasonal EWR-ATH. So, clearly demand dipped a little after 2008/2009. When it jumps back up, I'd expect more year-round seat capacity from New York, and possibly Canada from AC, and maybe even IAD with UA. These cities are perfectly positioned, geographically, to collect ATH-bound travelers from all over the USA/Canada, and put them on ATH flghts through their hubs at JFK, EWR, IAD, etc.
3rdGen From Bahrain, joined Jul 2011, 208 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13521 times:
This airline is planning to use ex GF 340s that were originally planned for Hellenic. In another post I wrote about two GF 340s that were painted in Hellenic colours but never reached them, they returned to BAH and are have been sitting idly for the past 1 year.
I don't know why they want to use 343s I think it's the low cost. But wouldn't 763ERs be a better choice? Do they have the legs for the routes they're planning?
FreshSide3 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 213 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 13426 times:
Yes, I wish them luck, but are afraid they will end up with the same fate as Hellenic Imperial.
However, there is more to the US-Greece market below the surface. Yes, there is a big glut of tourists coming out during the summer----which everyone knows about. But the diaspora thing has some subtle issues, and that mainly has to do with convenience. Lots of complex nuances here.
Not everyone lives near New York. Not everyone has direct flights to New York or the European capitals. And not everyone is just going to Athens. Some have to take boats or flights to the islands, and some have to drive into the mainland for several hours. Elimination of one stop, on one end, the other, or both, is a big selling point.
Yes, I firmly believe that the Diaspora CAN support Chicago-Athens, for a number of reasons. Keep in mind that Illinois not only has a large Greek contingent, but the surrounding states(MI/IN/MO/OH) do too. Just like people coming to New York, and take the train from CT, RI, etc.......the folks in the neighboring states can do the same.
At the secondary airports in some of these states, there are also no flights the US gateways or Europe. For example, going from South Bend, IN to Rhodes would typically take three plane changes....i.e. SBN-UA-ORD-LH-FRA-LH-ATH-OA-RHO. This is not to mention the routings that require driving, or take boats. Lots of these kinds of routings out there.....because there is no other choice. People in the diaspora would go more often if it wasn't a hassle. Price is really not the reason why people don't go every year.
St. Louis, which is fairly close to Chicago, does not have any Europe service. A good portion of the STL Greeks are connected with Ioannina, which is in the western aprt of the mainland. STL also has a large Albanian contingent, too. There will never be nonstops from the USA to Albania(even from NYC), so there is large dependence on Italy/Greece connections. Cleveland does not have any Europe service, either.
The "core" of the five-state region can indeed support ORD-ATH. And some business, student, and west coast travel can put it way over the top. Bundle all these factors together, and you have a flight with much synergy.
Chicago, incidentally, had a direct trip on Olympic, a number of years ago....BUT.....it was a one-stop/no plane change via JFK. Effectively, New Yorkers would buy most of the seats, and OA basically had a station open, but not selling that many tickets.
It would be great to have the Sky Greece service, due to the general lack of nonstops from the USA. However, JFK/YUL/YYZ are a bit redundant,as mentioned---in each of these markets, there are two competitors, whereas out of ORD there would be a monopoly. It would have been better to pick DTW/BOS/IAD instead of the other three, for the same reason.
And with Sky Greece being a new carrier, they won't have ticketing/baggage agreements, with either US carriers or Greek domestic carriers. Which like Southwest and charter flights, this will be problematic.......and will need extra time to claim/recheck bags. Kind of negates some of the benefit.
That would not happen at AA or UA, who have agreements, and have domestic online feed-in.
crazyguineapig From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 36 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13320 times:
Freshside: Impressed by your knowledge of Albanian/Greek diasporas in St. Louis which I did not know existed in the area. In a nutshell, the ATH-JFK market will not only serve tourists and Greek diaspora but also neighboring diasporas (if connections and logistics are taken care of even to a minimal degree). As for alternative airports such as BOS, DTW, and IAD, I would say IAD would be the most interesting alternative as it is a "diplomatic" hub from which government workers and contractors have to fly to almost every country in the world several times a year. As a person who lives close by I know a handful of people who would use an IAD-ATH flight.
Overall, I was not disappointed by their Facebook page. Already 1,000+ fans, and the guy writing the statuses actually knows how to write English well. Give them credit for trying to change the mundane hegemony of options in the transatlantic market, right guys?
I believe the real reason why they got A340s and not 763s is not because they're "ignorant" of the fuel statistics, rather I think its likely that it is easier to hire pilots in Greece with A340 licenses as opposed to ones with 767 licenses given that no Greek airline ever employed pilots for flying the 767 to my knowledge.
skyduster From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 13253 times:
I just think the diaspora factor is far overstated. As you stated yourself [Freshside], OA once had Chicago flights via JFK, and that didn't last long. Chicago has a sizeable Greek population, but it's not that big, and neither is New York's for that matter (even if it may feel quite Greek in Astoria and maybe some pockets in Long Island and Jersey). And outside New York, Chicago, Boston, and Tampa, it drops significantly. St Louis is a large enough city to have flights to destinations outside the Midwest, such as Toronto and New York. Detroit definitely has flights to CDG (via DL and AF) and FRA (LH), let alone PHL, YYZ, and NYC. Folks from Los Angeles have even more options than Detroit. Angelinos can connect in YYZ, YUL, NYC, PHL, LHR, MAD, AMS, ZRH, IST, FCO...
What you say about destinations within Greece beyond ATH makes a lot of sense. I'm sure plenty of Greek-Americans would love to fly into HER and SKG with as few connections as possible...of course, those airports do have regular service to the major European hubs. You can easily fly ORD-FRA-HER or LAX-FRA-HER with Lufthansa/Aegean...you can fly ORD/LAX-FRA-SKG with Lufthansa/Aegean...you can also go to RHO from FRA, but I doubt very many diaspora folks are headed to RHO in the first place. The Dodecanese Islands make up only about 2% of the country's population, so it's pretty safe to assume that not many diaspora folks are from there. RHO is only a very busy airport because of tourism, and -to a lesser extent- being an island, making automobile travel between Rhodes and the mainland (or other islands) not possible.
Of course, none of this necessarily means that there's no room for Skygreece. But in order to succeed, they'd have to also offer a domestic network, or offer code-share service with a domestic airline (OA? HER-based Sky Express?) or -even better- Aegean which would allow passengers the option of flying to, say, TLV, or LCA, or BAH, or CAI, or DOH via ATH. If you're headed from ORD or LAX to RHO...sure, you can buy separate itineraries on two different airlines that don't work together in any way, and check in again at ATH, but only hardcore travelers do that. Grandma won't do that.
They're just not going to survive on the diaspora strategy. No one ever does. Old OA's flights to Australia were loss-making ventures.
All that being said, I do believe that demand for general Americans (as well as Canadians) traveling to Greece will increase steadily in the coming years, especially with the fantastic growth in the Mediterranean cruise sector that's going on (with Greece playing a significant role in that)...and who loves all-inclusive cruises? Americans do. In fact, the number of Americans visiting Greece has been on the rise. But again, let's not kid ourselves. Long-distance nationalities like Americans, Canadians, Chinese, etc...while certainly visiting Greece in growing numbers, it's a very steady growth. The fastest growth is actually coming from eastern and central Europe (there's been fantastic growth in visitors from Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania), as well as some western European countries that were not traditional markets for Greece, such as France and Spain (especially France from where there's been fantastic growth in recent years).
Well, it was ultimately closed down because it was losing too much money so yes, it did fail.
Secondly, I was referring to the long haul operations that Skygreece Airlines wish to commence and OA did fail in making its long haul network profitable- New York was cancelled and not resumed by Olympic Air
raffik From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 1694 posts, RR: 4 Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 12718 times:
OA was badly managed but was a great airline. I flew them many many times to Lebanon via Athens- this was at the old airport. When we were waiting for our connecting flights, my family and I would walk out of the airport and to the beach and go swimming. The service was really nice- great food and crew, old A340s and 737-200s onwards to Beirut.
However, the airline really was unprofitable due to this mis management- it reflects the whole view of the economy in Greece. A lot of corruption, a lot of people on the pay roll who weren't actually doing anything.
The OA ground services was always very profitable and made more money for the airline that their actual operations.
I just don't think that two airlines can be sustained on that route, not with the economy as it is there
Happy -go- lucky kinda guy!
25 pilotanthony: I say again OA did not fail ANY of its routes, and the airline itself did NOT fail. It was poorly managed and the Greek government was losing money an
26 Aquila3: The A340 is not completely useless as many here like to believe. And cannot be replaced with any given smaller bird you can find. The real question i
27 SKGSJULAX: I am not sure what the distinction is that you are attempting to make. Your overall analysis is very compelling and underlines the challenges this ne
28 Konstantinos: Well what can I say. Some people can be very adventurous in such difficult times. I hope the airline takes off and succeeds. It will be very difficult
29 kyrone: I thought the deadline for ORD for S13 had already passed.....
30 Aquila3: For that you would need possibly the latest revisions of the 321 if not a NEO and still I am not sure with adverse winds if you gonna make it . So ne
31 Konstantinos: Aquila3, can you not make it with the A321 on London Gatwick to Montreal and on Manchester to New York? Even with a 2 class configuration of 185 passe
32 TIA: I wish them all the luck, but I fail to see how they will make it work with no connections and in these times. Huhhh???? It's VFR traffic. Price is by
33 ushermittwoch: Nope. Way too far. You'd most likely have to opt for something like ATH-SNN-YQX-YUL-YYZ. Not very attractive or efficient.
34 Aquila3: As I said, basically the answer is NO. You would need at least another stopby (Gander?). But that routing would bring us back at the beginning of the
35 FreshSide3: I should have said SCHEDULED non-stop service.......sorry about that.....I should have been more clear.... It is certainly possible, though not the p
36 FreshSide3: I was using SBN-RHO as an example. (The big market for the dodecanese in the US is Florida, not Indiana). But there are other like combinations of ro
37 FreshSide3: The person that initially post this photo---originally on a Greek news forum-----did admit it they did the photoshop. Basically, the cost of operatin
38 FreshSide3: It will work seasonally, in fact, possibly a third non-daily trip will work on the NYC-ATH market. But certainly not year-round. The C.O.O. happens t
39 Fly2yyz: A decent number of their exec board comes from YUL. I wonder if they will push it as one of their first destinations.
40 FreshSide3: If you look at the list of city ticket offices, you will notice Chicago is not on there yet. So, ORD obviously has a lower priority than the other th