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chrisnh
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Has Greece disappeared as a transatlantic destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:26 pm

Are there any transatlantic flights to Greece any more? I know the financial crisis a few years back swallowed up Olympic, but unless I have missed something no other airlines have taken up the slack. Is DL doing any flights to Greece? Has this country turned into the proverbial 'Cant-Get There-From-Here' destination?
Last edited by qf789 on Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: updated title for clarity
 
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Lemieux
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:28 pm

AA has PHL-ATH
DL has JFK-ATH
UA has EWR-ATH

All seasonal
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OA260
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:33 pm

Also EK currently fly ATH-EWR.
 
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STT757
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:36 pm

OA260 wrote:
Also EK currently fly ATH-EWR.


I believe this is the only year round service, AA, DL, UA are seasonal.

In terms of possible growth, people always mention Chicago.
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georgiabill
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:40 pm

If EK considered resuming a 2nd DXB-BOS-BOS would greek government approve 5th freedom rights for them to do DXB-ATH-BOS-ATH-DXB 3 or 4 weekly service? Would there be suficent traffic to justify the service? Might be a way to bring back 2nd flight for EK.
 
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OA260
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:43 pm

STT757 wrote:
OA260 wrote:
Also EK currently fly ATH-EWR.


I believe this is the only year round service, AA, DL, UA are seasonal.

In terms of possible growth, people always mention Chicago.


That is correct and Greece has always been seasonal. This topic has been discussed numerous times. I doubt a ORD flight would work in Winter despite what some say. Greece is well connected via one stop options with many large carriers in Winter. LX TK BA LH AF KL IB . Its been a good year generally for Greece and Athens Airport taking into account all routes and carriers.

Passenger traffic at the Athens International Airport (AIA) over the Jan-Nov 2017 period has surpassed the figure for all of 2016. Specifically, the first 11 months of 2017 posted an increase of 8.8 percent from the corresponding period of 2016, exceeding 20 million passengers.More specifically, 20.3 million passengers used the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport of Athens from Jan. 1, 2017 to Nov. 30, 2017. International air traffic was up by 12 percent, and domestic traffic by 3.1 percent.For November 2017 alone, one of the "low season" months of the year, 1.45 million passengers passed through the airport, up 8.7 percent from November 2016. Conversely, domestic traffic during the same month dropped by 1.4 percent, yoy, whereas international traffic boasted a sharp increase of 14.6 percent.

http://www.tornosnews.gr/en/transport/a ... -2017.html
 
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ACCS300
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:45 pm

AC Rouge still does YYZ-ATH on a 767-300
 
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ACCS300
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:36 pm

...might I add YUL-ATH, AC Rouge ( seasonal ) as well.
 
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chepos
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:11 pm

From the US it is mostly a leisure/VFR destination, you can fill the plane May through September but hard to do in the winter. For the US3 it will remain a seasonal destination.
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United787
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:36 pm

I could see ORD-ATH being viable on a 763 on UA seasonally, but not because of VFR (visiting friends and relatives). Although Chicago has a large Greek population, I don't think it is large enough or recent enough to support a flight on it's own. My grandfather came from Greece in 1900 and most Greeks I know are at least 1st or 2nd generation. The population has become fairly scattered and integrated into America.

But I do think that with Greece's rebounding tourism, more Americans are travelling there and ORD has the ability to capture some of that traffic. Plus ORD-ATH is *Alliance hub to *Alliance hub and Aegean's growth has been astounding. I think ATH has the ability to become a *Alliance alternative to IST as a gateway to not only Turkey but the entire Middle East. I hope UA and A3 get tighter...
 
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adamh8297
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:38 pm

chrisnh wrote:
Has this country turned into the proverbial 'Cant-Get There-From-Here' destination?


Not even close . Look at the amount of flights to ATH and even the islands and Thessaloniki from any European hub and IST.
Airlines flown: A3, AA, AC, AF, AM, BA, B6, CO, DL, EA, EL, IB, LH, MI, MQ, NH, NW, NZ, OU, PE, QF, S4, SQ, TP, UA, US, VS, WN

2018 Flights: B6 BOS-BGI-BOS, WN BOS-MDW-BOS, B6 BOS-PDX-BOS
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:46 pm

chepos wrote:
From the US it is mostly a leisure/VFR destination, you can fill the plane May through September but hard to do in the winter. For the US3 it will remain a seasonal destination.


It's not just from the US that Greece is mostly a leisure/VFR destination anyway. It's mostly a leisure/VFR destination from most of Europe(Western) also :scratchchin: :scratchchin: .

For my input - it's not just Greece that sees the highly seasonal (Summer only) traffic anyway. You can say the same thing about other "eastern" (Technically more East Central) Europe leisure/VFR destinations like BUD and PRG anyway. Well, at least BUD will see year-round LO flight to ORD and JFK beginning next year :scratchchin: :scratchchin:
 
Nickd92
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:50 pm

The title of this thread if misleading.

It hasn't disappeared as a destination to the europeans, many european carriers are expanding there offering for Summer 2018.
 
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United787
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:10 pm

I think the two biggest obstacles to non-stop flight to ATH from the US:

1. ATH is not a high yield business destination.
2. The plethora of one-stop options through European hubs from so many US cities. Essentially every city that has at least one European flight can get to ATH with one-stop.

Also, could ORD-ATH work daily with just one plane or is the route too long?
 
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adamh8297
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:29 pm

Nickd92 wrote:
The title of this thread if misleading.

It hasn't disappeared as a destination to the europeans, many european carriers are expanding there offering for Summer 2018.


Its increasing for Americans too. Every millennial wants to have a selfie at Oia, Santorini posted on instagram.
Airlines flown: A3, AA, AC, AF, AM, BA, B6, CO, DL, EA, EL, IB, LH, MI, MQ, NH, NW, NZ, OU, PE, QF, S4, SQ, TP, UA, US, VS, WN

2018 Flights: B6 BOS-BGI-BOS, WN BOS-MDW-BOS, B6 BOS-PDX-BOS
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:35 pm

United787 wrote:
Also, could ORD-ATH work daily with just one plane or is the route too long?


Using ORD-IST, which is of similar distance to ORD-ATH, as my basis of approximation, it'll probably be about 10 hrs 15 mins EB and 11 hrs 45 mins WB, which means ~22 hrs in the air for a round trip. It's probably just a little bit too long for one plane to work in such case. In a completely ideal world, yes, if they can turn the plane around in about an hour. In general, long-haul doesn't get turn around that quick on both the origin and destination.
 
AvroLanc
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:01 pm

I Believe TS flies seasonally from YYZ-ATH (May-OCT). Not That I would Ever Fly them again.
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sevenair
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:59 pm

Where I live the economic migrant 'crisis' has certainly pivoted people away from certain Greek destinations which is a shame as it's a great country quite unlike any other and the people are great too! But it is what it is. Tourist destinations are like clothes. You'll do anything to be in them one year and the next you wouldn't be seen dead in them.
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Jshank83
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:29 am

I am going to Greece for my honeymoon from the USA, fwiw.
 
IndianicWorld
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:30 am

Greece has always been a largely seasonal market.

The reality is that the market is driven largely by tourism, which is largely focused on summer demand. Business demand is not exactly compelling for airlines to look at long haul services year round, which leads to the situation today.

The days where OA flew around the globe year round as more prestige than a viable business are long gone, and with the amount of service available through other hubs, Greece is still well connected.
 
alan3
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:03 am

They also tried it in in 2015 with SkyGreece Airlines, which was a huge failure.

Any plans for Aegean (A3) to go long-haul?

Greece hasn't had its own long haul airline since Olympic... will it ever happen again?
 
IndianicWorld
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:23 am

alan3 wrote:
They also tried it in in 2015 with SkyGreece Airlines, which was a huge failure.

Any plans for Aegean (A3) to go long-haul?

Greece hasn't had its own long haul airline since Olympic... will it ever happen again?


I tend to see A3 as a well run airline, which makes anything as crazy as that as a no-go for them.

It’s a recipe for red ink that really won’t be beneficial.
 
Ratrace777
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:33 am

I think not having a true International airline promoting Greece worldwide hasnt helped. By example imagine Qatar didnt have Qatar - who would have heard of Doha?
 
alan3
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:24 am

Greece must certainly be the largest European country not to have a domestic carrier that flies at least one long-haul flight (JFK, for example).

Hungary and Romania would be the other two.

I would think it would be a matter of national pride if not anything else which several countries have flag carriers doing.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:36 am

You clearly haven't been to Greece for a long time.

Tourism in Greece is booming, with all-time record figures (just look at the figures at ATH or other major airports). Fraport has taken over control of +10 airports (including Thessaloniki and major tourist destinations like Santorini and Mykonos), so just expect major improvements (not hard, most of those airports are dumps) and a massive growth in traffic. Just look at the dozens of new routes Athens is getting for 2018 (as well as most islands).

I was in Santorini end of October (end of summer season) and the island was quite busy for being already that late. Even when I talked to the guy in my accommodation and asked him if he was to shut down for the winter (since the summer was ending), he told me that this was not the case anymore, as "Americans and Chinese keep coming in winter; they just fly Ryanair from ATH".
 
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aerolimani
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:14 am

The transatlantic market is so saturated. From many cities, even medium-sized, it is only a one-stop trip to Athens. If you're not adverse to interlining, you can make one-stop transatlantic journeys to many tourist destinations throughout Greece. The flight aggregators like skyscanner and kayak have made finding such itineraries much easier than in the past.

Maaaaaaybe (a giant maybe), A3 could someday get into longhaul. The only way I could see them growing big enough would be to follow a WS-style pattern.
1) Start some one-stop routes to destinations further afield, utilizing their current NB fleet.
2) When (and if) the market is showing some promise, start some direct flights with wet-leased aircraft.
3) If that works, and you've saved up some serious capital, then maybe you could look at leasing a small widebody fleet.

Currently, their longest flights don't extend much past 4 hours. So, any such widebody dreams would have to be some 10 years from now, if they started such a plan right now.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:31 am

IndianicWorld wrote:
alan3 wrote:
They also tried it in in 2015 with SkyGreece Airlines, which was a huge failure.

Any plans for Aegean (A3) to go long-haul?

Greece hasn't had its own long haul airline since Olympic... will it ever happen again?


I tend to see A3 as a well run airline, which makes anything as crazy as that as a no-go for them.

It’s a recipe for red ink that really won’t be beneficial.


I have the feeling that A3 is one of the reasons that ATH has so little long-haul, ironically.

A3 collaborates quite well with LH and makes transfers via MUC/FRA/ZRH quite easy and quick. And that opens way more options (e.g. Boston-Munich-Thessaloniki or whatever is the city-pair; a ATH-NYC would always require a connection somewhere for any other city pair).

Also geography is critical here. US-Greece is almost as long as it can get to fly to Europe (let's compare it with US-Portugal; Greece is easily 6 hours more for a return flight). Then because of this geography, to connect between the US and Greece, you can connect without backtrack pretty much everywhere in Europe.

If you compare Portugal and Greece (two relatively similar countries in terms of GDP, VFR and population) to Middle East / Asia, it is the other way around (again geography!). ATH has way more destinations than LIS (AMM, BEY, JED, RUH, KWI, IKA, BAH, DOH, AUH, SIN...) while LIS has only flights to DXB, PEK (which ATH also has) and HGH.
 
NOVAIAD
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:17 am

I can't speak for mainland Greece, but out here in Chania, it is clearly a seasonal destination, but not a destination where you see hordes of Americans coming over on summer break. Only five flights per day this time of year, all on Aegean. Aside from the Chania proper, the further out of town you get, the vast majority of hotels, restaurants and resorts are all closed for the season.
 
intothinair
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:42 am

adamh8297 wrote:
Nickd92 wrote:
The title of this thread if misleading.

It hasn't disappeared as a destination to the europeans, many european carriers are expanding there offering for Summer 2018.


Its increasing for Americans too. Every millennial wants to have a selfie at Oia, Santorini posted on instagram.


Selfies are soooo 2 years ago. Its all about Instagram stories nowadays :D in fact, i am in need for some online love right now. Gonna do a little IG Story of the food i am eating. Smashed avocado sandwich. Bring on the likes, comments and subsequent oozy feeling of dopamine rushing thru my body :p
 
SCQ83
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:46 am

NOVAIAD wrote:
I can't speak for mainland Greece, but out here in Chania, it is clearly a seasonal destination, but not a destination where you see hordes of Americans coming over on summer break. Only five flights per day this time of year, all on Aegean. Aside from the Chania proper, the further out of town you get, the vast majority of hotels, restaurants and resorts are all closed for the season.


You cannot compare Crete with Santorini or Mykonos.

Crete is just another Euro beach destination. Santorini and Mykonos are world-renowned; those are global hotspots.

Anyway this happens in every country. Just compare Zadar to Dubrovnik. Alicante to Ibiza. Myrtle Beach to Miami Beach.

There are beach destinations that just serve for people nearby (e.g. Europe in the case of Crete, the East Coast in the case of Myrtle Beach, etc) to sunbath, and other (few) beach destinations that have something unique to offer to visitors from anywhere in the world.
 
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OA260
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:02 am

SCQ83 wrote:
I was in Santorini end of October (end of summer season) and the island was quite busy for being already that late. Even when I talked to the guy in my accommodation and asked him if he was to shut down for the winter (since the summer was ending), he told me that this was not the case anymore, as "Americans and Chinese keep coming in winter; they just fly Ryanair from ATH".


Im just back from Greece and noticed more tourists compared to same time last year. Indeed various tourism groups have been successful in extending the season well into November. City breaks to Athens have increased substantially and that is aided by the growth and promotions by Aegean. The Islands are even promoting themselves for Christmas and New Year. The weather is not bad but never guaranteed but still pleasant.There has certainly been a shift of mentality which is welcome.


Latest figures from A3 :

https://en.about.aegeanair.com/media-ce ... inoy-2017/


As for longhaul by A3 I wish this pipe dream would go away. One way for A3 to mess up their finances and risk the whole airline itself would be to go into longhaul. The Greek economy would need to be in a hell of a better position then it is now before they could even look at it and that is at least 15-20 years away if all goes to plan. As I said numerous times A3 should stick to what they do best and that is Europe/Midhaul and Domestic.A3 has managed to drive business traffic successfully away from competitors on main EU routes and they need to keep focused on maintaining and increasing it. Next up is the fleet renewal and product enhancements. We have already seen new lounges at SKG and ATH with the new Non Schengen one opening today. New routes next year so that will keep them busy. Forget longhaul.
 
Draken21fx
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:06 am

Well if played smartly Athens airport could had become a hub similar to Istanbul, but it lacks a company like Turkish as I don't see Aegean expanding with widebodies anytime soon. The space is there.

In regards to the booming tourism in Greece I disagree slightly. Due to the developments in countries like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt a lot of Europeans prefer more "safe" destinations. Greece's tourism is by no means increasing due to the better organisation/marketing but due to geopolitical developments in the region. If you compare the numbers of 2015 to 2016 as an example Spain's arrivals have increased by 10% and Greece's by "only" 5% (and Spain has already triple the arrivals compared to Greece). Notable in the same year Turkey and Tunisia lost 25% and Egypt 5%.

Also it remains to be seen if Fraport is a good thing for regional Greek airports.

In regard to the US-Greece traffic most reasons have been mentioned above. Also worth mentioning that due to the current economic climate there is not much business travel to the US nor I believe there will be in the next 10-15 years.

Don't forget also the fact that Greece is quite far away from other Central European hubs/destinations, compared to other more centrally located countries.
 
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OA260
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:14 am

Data Shows Further Growth in Greek Tourism and Real Estate

Tourism is Greece’s most productive industry, steadily growing over the past four years. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says that a new boom in Greek tourism is expected in the next decade.

Services account for about 80% of Greece’s GDP, and the country is now experiencing a tourist boom. The number of international tourist arrivals increased from 14.9 million in 2009 to 24.8 million in 2016. According to the WTTC, it will grow further to 26 million in 2017 and to 47 million by 2027

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/12 ... al-estate/
 
Draken21fx
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:38 am

Not arguing about the increase. Arguing about the reasons behind that increase, if that is towards the right direction and if it comparable to the increase in other European destinations. From the same article you quoted.

Image

Since the beginning of the crisis the tourism contribution to the GDP has remained relatively flat but the number of tourists has increased by ~70%, so basically every tourist, on average, contributes less money to the Greek economy.

Anyway let's move that discussion to Non Aviation cause we are going off track.
 
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bgm
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:55 am

chrisnh wrote:
Has Greece disappeared as a destination?


What on earth makes you think that? There are a gazillion flights to Greece all year round, and even more in the summer. Their tourism sector is doing really well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens_In ... stinations

Tons of flights.
When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. - George Carlin
 
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OA260
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:56 am

Draken21fx wrote:
Not arguing about the increase. Arguing about the reasons behind that increase,.


You would need to look at figures more closely especially when comparing Spain and Greece. For instance the Canary Islands have seen a huge increase due to North African countries being off the radar especially in Winter due to its climate. The Greek Islands have no Wintersun flights and whilst in Summer Greece has attracted people who would have gone to North Africa and Turkey this is by no means the main reason why we have seen large increases in arrivals.

Anyway as you say its another topic and you would need to look at more in depth figures and graphs/trends to get a realistic overall view.
 
Draken21fx
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:20 pm

Agreed OA260 :)
@bgm: The question was focused on US flights rather than flights from Europe.

SCQ83 wrote:
If you compare Portugal and Greece (two relatively similar countries in terms of GDP, VFR and population) to Middle East / Asia, it is the other way around (again geography!). ATH has way more destinations than LIS (AMM, BEY, JED, RUH, KWI, IKA, BAH, DOH, AUH, SIN...) while LIS has only flights to DXB, PEK (which ATH also has) and HGH.


Although I do agree with Portugal been pretty similar to Greece in more than one aspects there is a massive difference. The Athens metropolitan area is substantially bigger compared to Lisbon and in the top 10 population wise in Europe. Around 40% of Greeks live in or around Athens.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:26 pm

To OP, dont listen to these bashers. I know what you mean.

When Olympic was flying, you also had TW DL and FF (I believe that was Tower). All that is gone.

For a while ATH had only DL. They upgraded to a 330. But I also know from my Greek friends in queens that Delta was the least preferred option back in the day because they preferred low-fare service.

Tower was the #1 choice, Because Olympic was so bad.

Throw in the Greek economic crisis and it was an ugly time.

Today, EK forced UA to start this route (I believe it was announced but never started prior to EK announcement). So now they have 4 TA carriers, which is back where they were 20 years ago. You only have 1 JFK flight though...that is a change.
 
CPHFF
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:05 pm

I'm sure Hellenic Imperial Airways will launch ATH-JFK any day now.............
Never underestimate the power of ignorance
 
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tlecam
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:09 pm

Direct long haul expansion will depend on whether Athens becomes more relevant again as a business and industrial center. There is opportunity there, but it remains to be seen how the economy plays out.
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OA260
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:21 pm

CPHFF wrote:
I'm sure Hellenic Imperial Airways will launch ATH-JFK any day now.............


Certainly looks like it ;)


Image
 
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STT757
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:39 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
To OP, dont listen to these bashers. I know what you mean.

When Olympic was flying, you also had TW DL and FF (I believe that was Tower). All that is gone.

For a while ATH had only DL. They upgraded to a 330. But I also know from my Greek friends in queens that Delta was the least preferred option back in the day because they preferred low-fare service.

Tower was the #1 choice, Because Olympic was so bad.

Throw in the Greek economic crisis and it was an ugly time.

Today, EK forced UA to start this route (I believe it was announced but never started prior to EK announcement). So now they have 4 TA carriers, which is back where they were 20 years ago. You only have 1 JFK flight though...that is a change.


UA flew to Greece from EWR before EK, it was year round under CO staring in 2007 until the economic collapse. They brought it back seasonally, and it was the Summer before EK.

UA's second forray into the Greek market was in Summer 2016, EK was 2017.http://www.pappaspost.com/united-airlines-to-launch-newark-to-athens-nonstop-service-in-2016/

https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-to-launch-daily-service-to-newark-via-athens
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
SCQ83
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Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:44 pm

OA260 wrote:
Im just back from Greece and noticed more tourists compared to same time last year. Indeed various tourism groups have been successful in extending the season well into November. City breaks to Athens have increased substantially and that is aided by the growth and promotions by Aegean. The Islands are even promoting themselves for Christmas and New Year. The weather is not bad but never guaranteed but still pleasant.There has certainly been a shift of mentality which is welcome.


I am sure "flagship" islands could support flights to major European capitals like London or Frankfurt year-round. Specially Santorini which is more cultural and less party/beach oriented. For the Asian or American tourist going to Greece once in their lifetime, taking an additional Aegean/Ryanair flight from ATH might not be a big deal, but for the Euro tourist looking for a bank holiday is a deal breaker.

Ibiza has got a number of few year-round flights in the last years, and in 2018 it will have London City, Paris Orly, Amsterdam and Eindhoven year-round, in addition to more domestic year-round destinations like Bilbao and Sevilla. It was not long ago that IBZ in winter just had MAD, BCN, PMI and maybe ALC/VLC. Also in Croatia airports like Split and Dubrovnik are getting Eurowings and Vueling this winter season.

Draken21fx wrote:
Well if played smartly Athens airport could had become a hub similar to Istanbul, but it lacks a company like Turkish as I don't see Aegean expanding with widebodies anytime soon. The space is there.

In regards to the booming tourism in Greece I disagree slightly. Due to the developments in countries like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt a lot of Europeans prefer more "safe" destinations. Greece's tourism is by no means increasing due to the better organisation/marketing but due to geopolitical developments in the region. If you compare the numbers of 2015 to 2016 as an example Spain's arrivals have increased by 10% and Greece's by "only" 5% (and Spain has already triple the arrivals compared to Greece). Notable in the same year Turkey and Tunisia lost 25% and Egypt 5%.

Also it remains to be seen if Fraport is a good thing for regional Greek airports.


Developing IST into that monster is a political decision. Why would Greece need something similar? Aegean growing organically seems more adequate.

Increase in tourism in Greece or Spain (which are also cultural destinations) is not only due to European holidaymakers looking for some sun. Look at the number of Chinese or American tourists (e.g. American tourists are the first nationality in visitors to Madrid) and most of those are not going to visit the Alhambra or the Parthenon instead of sunbathing in a beach in Monastir.

OA260 wrote:
You would need to look at figures more closely especially when comparing Spain and Greece. For instance the Canary Islands have seen a huge increase due to North African countries being off the radar especially in Winter due to its climate. The Greek Islands have no Wintersun flights and whilst in Summer Greece has attracted people who would have gone to North Africa and Turkey this is by no means the main reason why we have seen large increases in arrivals.

Anyway as you say its another topic and you would need to look at more in depth figures and graphs/trends to get a realistic overall view.


But the Canary Islands are now fully booked year-round so tour operators (and people in general) need to get a bit more creative.

Draken21fx wrote:
Although I do agree with Portugal been pretty similar to Greece in more than one aspects there is a massive difference. The Athens metropolitan area is substantially bigger compared to Lisbon and in the top 10 population wise in Europe. Around 40% of Greeks live in or around Athens.


Lisbon metro area has 2.8 million people https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisbon_Metropolitan_Area and LIS influence extends quite into the country, since the only two other airports are OPO and FAO.
 
airbazar
Posts: 8835
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:05 pm

United787 wrote:
I think the two biggest obstacles to non-stop flight to ATH from the US:
1. ATH is not a high yield business destination.
2. The plethora of one-stop options through European hubs from so many US cities. Essentially every city that has at least one European flight can get to ATH with one-stop.

Greece is the domain of the low cost carrier and charter carrier.
The other thing is that no one actually wants to stay in Athens for very long so the LCC's offer a better alternative of flying into one airport and flying out of another airport.

Ratrace777 wrote:
I think not having a true International airline promoting Greece worldwide hasnt helped. By example imagine Qatar didnt have Qatar - who would have heard of Doha?

And yet, the number of tourists visiting Greece has never been higher. check out the 5 and 10 year chart:
https://tradingeconomics.com/greece/tourist-arrivals
http://www.dw.com/en/greece-expects-tou ... a-38763499
I must have had at least 3 seperate groups of American friends visit Greece this past Summer.

jfklganyc wrote:
To OP, dont listen to these bashers. I know what you mean.
When Olympic was flying, you also had TW DL and FF (I believe that was Tower). All that is gone.

Gee I wonder why 3 of those 4 airlines went bankrupt. You're not really making a case for non-stop service to Greece :)
It's a very long way for a low yield market. I suspect that even the likes of DY might have a hard time with.
 
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aerolimani
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:48 pm

I think there is a large difference between how Europeans view Greece as a destination, and how the rest of the world views it. I think there are parallels between Greece and Mexico, in terms of perception. For many Europeans, Greece is beaches and parties, and maybe the odd archaeological site, if there happens to be one near the beach town they're in. It is similar to how Canadians and Americans generally view Mexico. For most non-Europeans, Greece is more of a cultural destination, and beach time is secondary. Just as Mexico is more a cultural trip for Europeans. It's why you only see narrowbody service to Mexico City from Canada and the US. There's no beach there!

Thus, in Greece there is no great demand for direct service from much of North America. It's fine for most people to take a one-stop flight to reach Athens. It's not a getaway destination for most non-Europeans. It's a cultural destination. And, once you've finished with the Akropolis, and all the museums of Athens, there are plenty of options to reach other Greek destinations; air, rail, ferry, and bus.

Europeans, on the other hand, are mostly looking for a beach. Thus, the tourist destinations are extraordinarily well-connected with directs to all over Europe. Granted, it's entirely seasonal, because nobody is sitting on a greek beach in January.

For those curious to see just how well connected Greece is to Europe, use http://www.flightconnections.com/ and start clicking on the islands to see where they have flights. Iy might surprise you.
 
JAAlbert
Posts: 1822
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:43 pm

Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:50 pm

I flew JFK - ATH on Delta on 10/31/17 and back a few weeks later. The plane was packed to the gills in both cabins going and returning. We had a great time in Greece and are already thinking of returning next year. BTW, Delta's economy service on board was surprisingly good. Free alcohol, two meals and a ham sandwich snack in flight, free movies, friendly flight attendants -- my partner and I were very impressed.
 
SurlyBonds
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:24 am

Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:43 pm

United787 wrote:
I think ATH has the ability to become a *Alliance alternative to IST as a gateway to not only Turkey but the entire Middle East.


If this were, say, 1995, and the USSR had just collapsed and the ME3 largely not around, I might agree with you. But today, the reality is that TK (itself a Star Alliance member) has the market to medium-sized cities in Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East locked up. And what about international connections? UA has one seasonal flight to ATH. Aegean has no long-haul flights, period. Meanwhile, TK has more international destinations worldwide than any other airline. And finally, the airports. Ataturk airport, though overcrowded, has decent facilities, and the new IST should be world class. (Try the Aegean lounge in ATH sometime.) This strategy isn't happening. Aegean is an excellent short-to-medium haul airline and should focus on that, rather than copying TK.
 
anstar
Posts: 3097
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:15 pm

Ratrace777 wrote:
I think not having a true International airline promoting Greece worldwide hasnt helped. By example imagine Qatar didnt have Qatar - who would have heard of Doha?



Greece has so much more to offer than an "airline". People know its history, food, olympics, islands etc So that encourages people to actually visit the country.
I dont think that many of qatars pax will actually be leaving the airport in DOH so Im not sure it really matters if DOH is known or not in comparison.
 
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OA260
Posts: 22859
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:42 pm

ahmetdouas wrote:
Fraport taking over airports is amazing news as the public managed GR airports are absolutely awful!

.


Well whilst I generally agree that Fraport is a good thing I would not go as far to call it amazing. I want to see results before I hand out that award! Time will tell.
 
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Jayafe
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:12 pm

Re: Has Greece disappeared as a destination?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:53 pm

anstar wrote:
Greece has so much more to offer than an "airline". People know its history, food, olympics, islands etc So that encourages people to actually visit the country.


Which doesn't mean that a flying ad is useless. Ask TK...

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