SergioAEE
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US Carriers In Greece

Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:15 pm

Hello to all,

Seeing that this summer more American carriers came into ATH, I began to ask myself why this has begun so late. USairways and Continental only just started flying to ATH. Im pretty sure that demand from Grecce to the US is big and vice-versa. I know alot of Americans like to visit Greece for holidays and there is a large business travel segment and VFR travel segment between the US and Greece. What was stopping the US carriers from flying to ATH in previous years and what do you guys think the following years will look like for this market (US-Greece)?

SergioAEE
 
WesternA318
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:16 am

I think it was partly politics, and before the new airport, security reasons.

Not to mention Homeric Tours in NYC having JFK-ATH charters with MD-11's, 747-100/-200's, L-1011's, 767-300ER's and whatnot until their recent purchase (and outright sell-back) of 2 A330-200's. Who would want to fly a Trans-Atlantic hop with THAT much capacity andnot enough butts to fill all of it?
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ANCFlyer
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:22 am

One of the contributing factors was the old Athens airport . . . unsecure and dangerous. Many times I'd see signas at US Airports - the typical warning signs of airports that dfon't meet miniumum security requirements and ATH was on them

Quoting SergioAEE (Thread starter):
What was stopping the US carriers from flying to ATH in previous years

I do believe Pan AM and TWA both served Athens . . . .
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MCOflyer
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:28 am

US serves it now with 762 eqipt, hoping to go A332 when they get delivered.

MCOflyer
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WesternA318
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:36 am

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 3):
US serves it now with 762 eqipt, hoping to go A332 when they get delivered.

I cant WAIT for that!!
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Viscount724
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:19 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
Quoting SergioAEE (Thread starter):
What was stopping the US carriers from flying to ATH in previous years

I do believe Pan AM and TWA both served Athens . . . .

Correct, especially TWA. They served ATH for several decades. Pan Am's service was briefer and as I recall they only served ATH from their FRA hub. TW operated nonstop JFK-ATH for many years, as well as serving ATH from other points in Europe and TLV.


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ATH was also the point of origin of one of the most well-known hijackings, TWA 847, a B727-200 in June 1985. The ordeal lasted 17 days. Related Time magazine article:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,959466,00.html

It was this aircraft, which coincidentally also appeared in TW's final livery:


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KLMA330
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:54 am

My uncle and cousins just flew to Athens on USAir. Not a very pleasant flight, super long, and dingy plane, or at least, this was their discription, and being that they tried it first hand, I believe them.
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TUNisia
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:00 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
Correct, especially TWA. They served ATH for several decades. Pan Am's service was briefer and as I recall they only served ATH from their FRA hub. TW operated nonstop JFK-ATH for many years, as well as serving ATH from other points in Europe and TLV.

Ya, TWA served FCO and CAI from ATH as well (back when they had 727s in Europe). I really miss them  Sad
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TUNisia
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:03 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
ATH was also the point of origin of one of the most well-known hijackings, TWA 847, a B727-200 in June 1985. The ordeal lasted 17 days. Related Time magazine article:

Oh !! Also ... the 727 involved in TWA 847 was the LAST 727 in service for TWA. I think it's last flight was MSY-STL. Supposedly their were still bullet holes visible in the cabin which had been patched up. I think there's a YouTube vid of the last flight.. if I can find it i'll make a post.
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cy319
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:18 pm

Also, UA served ATH for a while with 727s from CDG as far as i remember. Or it might have been from FRA.

Apart from the direct services nowadays, there is still lots of connecting traffic mostly with BA,LH,KL,AZ.
I work at LHR and the 1st BA morning flight to ATH (BA 640) has at least 50% transfer passengers from the US.
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OA412
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:47 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
Correct, especially TWA. They served ATH for several decades. Pan Am's service was briefer and as I recall they only served ATH from their FRA hub.

Correct! TW flew to ATH for roughly 50 years before suspending service in either 1997 or 1998 (can't remember which). PA only began flying to ATH in 1985 and, as you mentioned only from FRA, so their stint in ATH was indeed far shorter than TW's.
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TrijetsRMissed
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:05 pm

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 8):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
ATH was also the point of origin of one of the most well-known hijackings, TWA 847, a B727-200 in June 1985. The ordeal lasted 17 days. Related Time magazine article:

Oh !! Also ... the 727 involved in TWA 847 was the LAST 727 in service for TWA. I think it's last flight was MSY-STL. Supposedly their were still bullet holes visible in the cabin which had been patched up.

That would have been a bit eerie to have been on that plane knowing the history of what happened with the hijacking.. ATH was also the point of origin for the last successful flight of the 747 that was involved in the TW 800 crash.
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fr8mech
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:30 pm

Oh the memories. We used to summer in a neighborhood that was just east of the airport. TWA, PanAM, Luftansa, Altalia and the charter jumbos. They always looked like they were going to go off the end.

I blame my view of that airport for my passion in aviation.

The new airport is 30 or so minutes from my old stomping grounds. Pity.
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OA260
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:33 pm

I used to fly DL on their A310 from LGW-FRA-ATH. Was a good service. I remember seeing TWA all the time. When it came to take off the police cleared the road behind the runway . Partly for security and partly so you didnt get blown away. It was great to be that close to a 747 when the engines started.

Quoting KLMA330 (Reply 6):
My uncle and cousins just flew to Athens on USAir. Not a very pleasant flight, super long, and dingy plane, or at least, this was their discription, and being that they tried it first hand, I believe them.

I believe them also. US Airways are not good and Ive only ever flown with them in their Envoy class. Was terrible.
 
WesternA318
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:00 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 13):
I believe them also. US Airways are not good and Ive only ever flown with them in their Envoy class. Was terrible.

Ive only flown in their A330's across the pond in Envoy, and the service wasnt shabby, but definately not up to par with say CO or BA or such...
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VHXLR8
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:19 pm

Quoting SergioAEE (Thread starter):
and VFR travel segment between the US and Greece

It's also worth remembering that VFR travel, whilst filling seats, is generally very low yeilding; therefore not a profit spinner for the airlines.
A classic example of this (relating to ATH) is Australia-Greece. Melbourne is home to the world's largest Greek population outside Greece; as such, huge numbers of passengers fly between MEL and ATH. However, QF pulled off the route many years ago, and OA did the same quite recently (even after being offered subsidies by the Victorian Government). It's one thing to get people onto flights, but if the premium fares aren't there, there's really not much in it for the airline, particularly on a long international route with high overheads.
 
SergioAEE
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:24 pm

CO, US and DL come to Athens with VERY high load factors! I work at ATH and its almost everyday that these flight request the longer runway due to weight and also depending on the temperature, sometimes they even request de-fueling before departure and fly to another destination, and refuel there. On the other hand OA does not have good load factors. They somtimes depart ATH with 120 pax on an A343...... This is where my question began. Its surprising that the 3 American carriers have incredible load factors.

SergioAEE
 
egmcman
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:25 pm

DL serves ATH from JFK 763's DL132/3 daily
 
SergioAEE
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:24 pm

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 3):
One of the contributing factors was the old Athens airport . . . unsecure and dangerous. Many times I'd see signas at US Airports - the typical warning signs of airports that dfon't meet miniumum security requirements and ATH was on them

However the one now, is amongst the safest in the world  Smile

SergioAEE
 
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OA260
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:10 am

Quoting SergioAEE (Reply 18):
However the one now, is amongst the safest in the world

From one extreme to the other LOL....
 
Flighty
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:16 am

Quoting SergioAEE (Reply 16):
CO, US and DL come to Athens with VERY high load factors! I work at ATH and its almost everyday that these flight request the longer runway due to weight and also depending on the temperature, sometimes they even request de-fueling before departure and fly to another destination, and refuel there. On the other hand OA does not have good load factors. They somtimes depart ATH with 120 pax on an A343...... This is where my question began. Its surprising that the 3 American carriers have incredible load factors.

Yes. The American carriers have generally 1-stop transportation, using CO or US, and even in the case of DL at JFK.

CO at EWR and US at PHL connect cities across the USA straight to Athens. It is hard to duplicate their strength unless OA codeshares with DL (unlikely) or JetBlue. Does OA codeshare with anybody now? Even so, it will be hard for OA to offer door-to-door service as fast as the USA hub carriers when going to Seattle, Chicago, Houston etc.

ATH-USA is a very long flight for the 767-200ER. They may need the long runway, whereas the A340 may take off faster..?..

ATH has faster access to American cities now, thanks to US and CO. Also, DL is very strong in New York these days. This probably explains the majority of the success you are seeing. At least it is good for ATH to bring more tourists in!
 
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United787
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:55 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
Pan Am's service was briefer and as I recall they only served ATH from their FRA hub.

That is correct. I flew FRA - ATH on June 8, 1991 on PanAm Flight 60.
 
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OA412
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:22 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
ATH has faster access to American cities now, thanks to US and CO. Also, DL is very strong in New York these days. This probably explains the majority of the success you are seeing. At least it is good for ATH to bring more tourists in!

Don't forget that DL also serves ATH from ATL during high season which opens up more connecting opportunities for passengers than either CO's EWR hub or US's PHL hub.
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WesternA318
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:30 am

Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 15):
A classic example of this (relating to ATH) is Australia-Greece.

Not to mention NYC-ATH, but on this route at least, there is a bit of high yield traffic.

Quoting SergioAEE (Reply 16):
Its surprising that the 3 American carriers have incredible load factors.

Its not surprising when you factor in all the connecting cities (using CO as an example) from not just EWR nonstops but also the people (such as myself) who usually have to connect in IAH before getting to EWR. Considering that factor, the map opens up even more so.


Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
ATH-USA is a very long flight for the 767-200ER. They may need the long runway, whereas the A340 may take off faster..?..

Not really, TWA used to do a mix of 747-100/-200, 747SP, 767-200/-300's to ATH in its lifetime, as well as 707's, now THOSE would be long flights!

OA's A340's in particular (at least in JFK and in ATH) are seeming to be really underpowered as they take up MUCH more runway that 767's, 777's and the like.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 22):
Don't forget that DL also serves ATH from ATL during high season which opens up more connecting opportunities for passengers than either CO's EWR hub or US's PHL hub.

Especially in the South, but as I stated above, factor in a two or more hub transfer, and the map opens up considerably.
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TurkishWings
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:09 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
One of the contributing factors was the old Athens airport . . . unsecure and dangerous. Many times I'd see signas at US Airports - the typical warning signs of airports that dfon't meet miniumum security requirements and ATH was on them

Tell me about it... When I was a cabin crew with TK ages ago, we had to sit down for the last 10-15 minutes of a roughly 55 minute flight. Deduct 5 mins after take off and we had just over half an hour to serve 150 pax  Yeah sure (Cold meal plus drinks and tea/coffee). On one of those flights, I remember distributing hot towels after service because there was a control purser (or however they are called) on board  Wink

The new airport is much nicer by the way... I remember sitting in a cafe next to Olympiakos football players.. Heaven Big grin
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Flighty
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:28 am

Quoting OA412 (Reply 22):
Don't forget that DL also serves ATH from ATL during high season which opens up more connecting opportunities for passengers than either CO's EWR hub or US's PHL hub.

Forgot about that, sorry. You're right. So, it is relatively new that all Americans have easy access to ATH on a number of airlines. This will increase ATH's tourism. And, it will weaken Olympic Airways, unless they focus on shorthaul within the region.

According to wiki, SABRE has been hired to consult with the Greek government on a restructure of Olympic, possibly a new national carrier to replace Olympic. It seems their longhaul model is not working. Fact is, Greece may not be large enough to need a national longhaul carrier... the JFK service seems to be ill-fated, anyhow.
 
phlwok
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:07 am

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 14):
Quoting OA260 (Reply 13):
I believe them also. US Airways are not good and Ive only ever flown with them in their Envoy class. Was terrible.

Ive only flown in their A330's across the pond in Envoy, and the service wasnt shabby, but definately not up to par with say CO or BA or such...

As someone with >1 million miles on US, I completely agree. The 767 fleet has had only minor cabin (seat) upgrades, and if they intend to keep them beyond the arrival of the A330-200's in a few years, they need to think about doing more work on them. As to service levels, this is something the whole airline needs to urgently work on in both Y and C.

That said, PHL-ATH is likely to be a success in the long term for them. There appears to be demand, and there are plenty of Greek descendants in the US as well as tourists that want to go there. I can't speak to business traffic, but Greece has never been on my list of typical business destinations in my career compared to places like London, Frankfurt, Paris, the Swiss cities, Rome, Madrid, etc.

You'll see the 767-200ER on this route until new aircraft arrive, as it's the only aircraft currently in the US fleet that can make the route. The A330-300 cannot, at least not reliably. Looking at the FlightAware log, it appears that the 767 has only needed to stop once, on June 22nd in SNN, but I don't know if that was a fuel diversion or something else.
 
ElVen
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:10 am

Is Just a personal preference but i feel much more confortable flying with an Olympic Airlines A343 than on an aging B762/763. The flight is about 10 hrs to JFK and the service on Olympic, although not impressive, is no different than the service on DL, US or CO.
 
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OA260
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:25 am

Quoting ElVen (Reply 27):
The flight is about 10 hrs to JFK and the service on Olympic, although not impressive, is no different than the service on DL, US or CO.

I have flown alot of times on nearly all the US carriers. I have to say United is my favourite. At the moment though I will always fly OA JFK to ATH over anything else. If you book early OA have some very good fares and the food and PTV's are better than on the other carriers on the USA to Greece routes. Now if United put a 777 on a USA to ATH route then that would probably tempt me away from OA due to the miles and benefits I would get.
 
WesternA318
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:33 am

Quoting OA260 (Reply 28):
Now if United put a 777 on a USA to ATH route then that would probably tempt me away from OA due to the miles and benefits I would get.

LOL< UA would be crazy to put a 777 on most likely an IAD-ATH run...it would proably be along the lines of the 763 or so..
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OA260
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:22 pm

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 29):
LOL< UA would be crazy to put a 777 on most likely an IAD-ATH run...it would proably be along the lines of the 763 or so..

I guess I can dream lol.....
 
COGlobeTrotter
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:11 pm

I believe the incentives given by Athens airport is what lead US & CO to start flights there. DL has had service to ATH for a long time, so it was probably yields and not security that kept other American carriers away.
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[Edited 2007-07-09 11:13:48]
 
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OA260
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:16 pm

Quoting COGlobeTrotter (Reply 31):
so it was probably yields and not security that kept other American carriers away.

I can understand security issues at the old ATH airport for US carriers but it never applied to other carriers in those days. The new ATH airport is as secure as any airport in the world now so this should not be an issue in future.
 
tpaewr
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:23 pm

Quoting ElVen (Reply 27):
Is Just a personal preference but i feel much more confortable flying with an Olympic Airlines A343 than on an aging B762/763.

Not all 762s are aging, in fact some out there are younger than some A343s. In fact I bet one of these "youngsters" is gonna being visiting ATH today!  Wink
 
rjpieces
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 32):
I can understand security issues at the old ATH airport for US carriers but it never applied to other carriers in those days.

I remember hearing how bad security was at ATH when I was a kid. Could somebody explain the story behind this--what exactly was so lacking in ATH security at the old airport?
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OA260
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:12 pm

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 34):
remember hearing how bad security was at ATH when I was a kid. Could somebody explain the story behind this--what exactly was so lacking in ATH security at the old airport?

Haha well put it this way when I used to fly UM (years ago ) I was escorted from the plane into the baggage hall and as soon as my Aunt would see me through the doors she would walk right in from the arrivals area past the armed police into the baggage hall to greet me LOL.... Big grin

We always used to joke about it . Those were the innocent days . Now she would be arrested!!!
 
WesternA318
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:49 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 35):
I was escorted from the plane into the baggage hall and as soon as my Aunt would see me through the doors she would walk right in from the arrivals area past the armed police into the baggage hall to greet me LOL....

Same would happen to me when my cousins came to pick me up, once they made it onto the bus all the way out to the TWA 747 that brought me in!
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747fan
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:58 pm

[quote=OA260,reply=28]If you book early OA have some very good fares and the food and PTV's are better than on the other carriers on the USA to Greece routes.[/quot
If I was going to Greece (I wish) I'd definitely consider flying them. One advantage they have that may matter to quite a few passengers (mainly younger) is that Olympic has PTV's while US and Delta don't (CO does). Plus you get an A340, which is my preferred longhaul plane as its 2-4-2 seating arrangement is ideal (although 2-3-2 ain't bad) and its very easy to sleep on as its the quietest plane I've ever flown on; the Boeings are noticeably noisier, especially in the back. You'd also get a great few of the scenery on takeoff due to the A340's trademark gentle climbout. And what a beautiful airplane the A340 is, especially in OA's livery.

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DL, US, and CO are definitely relatively new players in Greece as US just started flying there last year (or was it this year?) and CO this year. DL has been flying there from ATL and JFK for I think 2 years.
 
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OA260
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:03 pm

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 36):
once they made it onto the bus all the way out to the TWA 747 that brought me in!

No way haha that is just so funny !!!!  rotfl   rotfl  '' Mono tin Ellada''!!!! ''only in Greece'' Dont you just miss those days though !!!! Its all to PC these days. When you look back the world wasnt such a bad place in those days.
 
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OA412
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:43 am

Quoting 747fan (Reply 37):
DL has been flying there from ATL and JFK for I think 2 years.

DL has been serving ATH now for 16 years ever since it purchased PA's Europe routes. Initially all services were from FRA but JFK has actually been served nonstop for about 13 years now.
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747fan
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:25 am

Quoting OA412 (Reply 39):
DL has been serving ATH now for 16 years ever since it purchased PA's Europe routes. Initially all services were from FRA but JFK has actually been served nonstop for about 13 years now.

Oh, thanks for the correction. I do think ATL-ATH is relatively new, but correct me if I'm wrong.
 
ANITIX87
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:34 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
I do believe Pan AM and TWA both served Athens . . . .

Yep. For many years. I flew TWA to ATH so many times I did it on four different aircraft types!

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 11):
ATH was also the point of origin for the last successful flight of the 747 that was involved in the TW 800 crash.

Which I was on. Kind of frightening. N93119.

Quoting Egmcman (Reply 17):
DL serves ATH from JFK 763's DL132/3 daily

Sometimes twice daily, though I don't know what days. I'm pretty sure it's 10 weekly, though I could be wrong. It's been known to happen.  Smile

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panamair
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:35 am

Quoting 747fan (Reply 40):
do think ATL-ATH is relatively new, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Yes, ATL-ATH started last summer (2006).
 
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:51 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 41):
Sometimes twice daily, though I don't know what days. I'm pretty sure it's 10 weekly, though I could be wrong. It's been known to happen.

JFK-ATH was flown 10 x weekly during IIRC August the last few years but is only being flown daily this year along with the daily ATL-ATH rotation.
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WesternA318
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RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:29 am

Quoting 747fan (Reply 37):
DL has been flying there from ATL and JFK for I think 2 years.

ATL-ATH has been served off and on since about 1995/1996 with MD-11's and more recently 763's, while as noted above, nonstop service has been operated from JFK since 1994, originally with A310's (I've flown on one), then with 763's as more and more joined the DL fleet.
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
PHLapproach
Posts: 1052
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:37 am

RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:50 pm

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 3):
US serves it now with 762 eqipt, hoping to go A332 when they get delivered.

Well ATH has been a powerhouse thus far. So it wouldn't surprise me for it to get an upgrade when they get here  Smile
 
SergioAEE
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:39 am

RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:34 pm

Just for info, the DL flight from JFK is LAX-JFK-ATH

Its different from last summer I guess  Smile

SergioAEE
 
panamair
Posts: 3759
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 2:24 am

RE: US Carriers In Greece

Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:55 pm

Quoting SergioAEE (Reply 46):
Just for info, the DL flight from JFK is LAX-JFK-ATH

They do this only for marketing purposes...the domestic portion is on a different airplane (757-200) with a different level of service. Also, if the LAX-JFK DL132 is late, the JFK-ATH DL132 doesn't necessarily wait for it either.