LAXintl
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Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Fri May 04, 2012 5:22 pm

Saw loaded in GDS that Delta is suspending JFK-ATH service on October 26th. Flights resume March 23, 2013.

Interesting this will make it the first time I can remember in decades that there will be no US-Greece nonstops.
US does Athens seasonally, while UA(CO) pulled out completely.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Fri May 04, 2012 5:41 pm

I believe this was already discussed, although it didn't have its own thread. It might have been in the one for DL suspending ATL-MXP...
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Fri May 04, 2012 5:49 pm

Quite unbelievable.

Although I think that Helenic Imperial flies out of T1.

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LAXintl
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Fri May 04, 2012 8:17 pm

Forgot about Hellenic, but I doubt they are much of an option for most.


Still kinda amazing Greece will be left without a real nonstop link to the US come the winter.

Certainly quite an indication of the poor economics of the market. Between the already seasonal nature of the market, the Greek economic meltdown and continued high fuel cost, things must truly be in the toilet.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 3:52 am

US-ATH has always been terrible in the winter. It was just more tolerable since it could cover the variable costs in the offseason and make it all back plus some in the summer. I guess with the financial crisis, the winter is truly wretched for all nonstop carriers.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 4:37 am

Its simply unreal, I guess it goes to show us all how badly the airlines are affected by high fuel prices. Don't mean to hijack the thread but what does this mean for IST? There is over 1000 seats daily after july 1 betwwen NYC-IST
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 4:56 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Still kinda amazing Greece will be left without a real nonstop link to the US come the winter.

That is surreal... I never thought I'd read about that. That there would always be an ATH flight to some US airport I always considered a given. Note: one of my favorite aunts is Greek, so it biases my opinion of the importance of Greece.  
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Certainly quite an indication of the poor economics of the market.

Sort of a slap stating how bad it really is. I've been following the crisis, but this just punctuates how bad it is.

Does anyone have passenger figures for the US to Greece? I'm sure there will still be passengers, they'll just be connecting at European hubs.

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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 5:56 am

Quoting gokmengs (Reply 5):

Its simply unreal, I guess it goes to show us all how badly the airlines are affected by high fuel prices. Don't mean to hijack the thread but what does this mean for IST? There is over 1000 seats daily after july 1 betwwen NYC-IST

I would suggest that the Turkish Airlines portion of this NYC-IST capacity is also supported with a large number of connection opportunities at Ataturk to destinations throughout the region which helps fill seats. The Turkish market is also not affected by current Greek fiscal woes. Its very surprising and (from a nostalgia point of view) a little sad that no USA-ATH nonstop route will be flown this Winter. Lets hope this is a once off for this year.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 9:57 am

Does anyone know what impact, if any, there will be on the ground handling staff in Athens? Does DL have its own employees at Athens airport, or is this outsourced? If outsourced, will they simply move to working other flights for other carriers?

Delta's pullout seems indicative of the lack of sufficient business demand between the US and Greece; that appears to be what is necessary to maintain nonstop flights year-round these days. Other similar markets, like JFK-OTP, JFK-IEV and JFK-BUD all bit the dust some time ago. The requirement for a market to be year-round now appears to be that when tourists are hard to come by in the back, there better be some people up front. Otherwise, you need an economy section so full that the average fare is pushed up to the effect that it compensates for lower fares in the business cabin, a bit like the way things work in a lot of US domestic markets. Just a guess, but that's how I'm interpreting these pullouts.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 11:21 am

I'm of Greek descent, have family in Greece, and was quite shocked when I heard the news. I remember when at some point in the mid-90s ATH-JFK was served by Olympic, TWA, Delta, United (via Paris, if I remember correctly), and Tower Air (I think that was seasonal). A real shame seeing it go from five to zero, but that's the nature of economics. Does anyone know which other European country doesn't have a direct link to the U.S.? I shouldn't think there are that many.

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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 11:44 am

With the cost of fuel, sometimes the only way to win is not to play at all.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 12:15 pm

I think we are going to see more of this coming over the next few years. My bet is that, with the barrel above $100 only hub to hub operations will really keep a decent number of flights between the US and Europe during the winter season. That really boils down, on the European side, to AMS/LHR/CDG/MAD/FRA/ZRH and to a lesser extent FCO/CPH/BRU/MUC/ARN.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 12:15 pm

Quoting TakeOff (Reply 9):
I'm of Greek descent, have family in Greece, and was quite shocked when I heard the news. I remember when at some point in the mid-90s ATH-JFK was served by Olympic, TWA, Delta, United (via Paris, if I remember correctly), and Tower Air (I think that was seasonal)

Indeed different days back then . I flew OA B742 JFK-ATH that was a great route.

As for the loss of a link it makes sense in the Winter. Summer is more important. In the Winter there are many other non direct options with LX LH TK .

TK have been offering amazing fares in J and Y for the Greek market and been advertising . Personally Id rather a short hop to IST then connect Via FRA / LHR etc....

As for Hellenic Imperial Id rather walk ! They suspended operations AFAIK.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 12:29 pm

Quoting TakeOff (Reply 9):
Does anyone know which other European country doesn't have a direct link to the U.S.? I shouldn't think there are that many.

JFK-ATH on DL will come back for the tourist season of 2013, but here are the ones I can think of with no direct air service to the US this summer:

Luxembourg (neither do Andorra/Monaco/Lichtenstein/San Marino, but none of them have airports)
Hungary
Slovakia
The Balkans: Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, B&H, Kosovo
Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
Malta (a little far-fetched)

It is generally hard to consolidate enough demand in the US for any one of those countries to warrant nonstop service. A few cities that always seem tentative are PRG, OSL and IEV. ATL-PRG is not operating this summer, and JFK-PRG is going away for winter 2013. UA does have year-round service to OSL, but that has not always been the case. IEV has generally been served nonstop by Aerosvit or Uzbekistan out of JFK in recent years, but DL service was spotty in that market for a while before they pulled out completely.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 2:36 pm

Can we expect DL to pull out of IST during the winter as well now that UAL is starting EWR-IST?
 
LAXintl
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 5:13 pm

Quoting gokmengs (Reply 5):
Don't mean to hijack the thread but what does this mean for IST? There is over 1000 seats daily after july 1 betwwen NYC-IST

Merhaba Gokmengs.

Yes IST will be interesting for Delta going forward also. There will be a flood of new THY capacity, in addition to UA entering the market this year.

As you know I've had dealings behind the scenes, and am aware DL has now been challenged for several years against THY and has seen its earnings decline in the Turkey market.

DL has devolved into the 2nd choice, bargain fare option for many carrying a mix of package tourist and Skymiles prisoners mostly these days. Not the best situation for them.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 6):
Does anyone have passenger figures for the US to Greece? I'm sure there will still be passengers, they'll just be connecting at European hubs

Dont have 2011, but in 2010 about 320,000 had direct US-Greece itineraries. Obviously the total visitation numbers between the countries is higher as people might have flown on separate tickets, or broken their journey up with stops along the way.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 8):
Does anyone know what impact, if any, there will be on the ground handling staff in Athens? Does DL have its own employees at Athens airport, or is this outsourced?

As of last summer they utilized Swissport as the handling agent.
I know there was talk of more joint handling with AF-KL-AZ, but don't know if that has happened at ATH or not.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 13):
JFK-ATH on DL will come back for the tourist season of 2013

While they say they will be back in 2013, I believe this is a bad omen as DL tends not to like seasonal only destinations where business demand is smallish.

Additionally DL seems to be getting ever closer with route capacity planning with its Skyteam partners, so I could unfortunately see that a decision could be made to push Greece traffic via partner hubs as they have already done for other former Delta routes.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 7:08 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 8):

Slight correction re Kiev, the code is KBP not IEV (old downtown airport replaced by Borispol, now home to bizjets - inc lots of Yak-40s - and Wizzair). And the surprisingly good* AeroSvit plies the Atlantic year-round to both Kennedy and Toronto.

* I flew JFK-KBP in Mar 2010 and really enjoyed a 10h ride aboard an aging but reliable 767-300ER that arrived on time with a nice dinner and breakfast served with a smile. Can't say for yield but my fare was about $500 oneway, it was late winter, plane was totally packed.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sat May 05, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 13):
and JFK-PRG is going away for winter 2013.

JFK-PRG is NOT going away; it will be reduced to 4-5x weekly this coming winter, as it was last winter.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 15):
While they say they will be back in 2013, I believe this is a bad omen as DL tends not to like seasonal only destinations where business demand is smallish.

JFK-ATH has a stronger likelihood of coming back next spring (than other seasonal destinations) as a lot of that peak season traffic is on the US side (lots of cruise traffic, etc.); the US-originating side is also mostly where the little premium traffic is (and that is mostly during the summer). Whatever traffic there is in the winter is mostly VFR-type traffic, which of course is relatively low-yield.

DL is relatively comfortable now with the seasonal balance it has established now in the transatlantic (starting with last winter's drawdown), so many of the seasonal destinations have indeed been coming back this spring/summer.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 15):
While they say they will be back in 2013, I believe this is a bad omen as DL tends not to like seasonal only destinations where business demand is smallish.

Additionally DL seems to be getting ever closer with route capacity planning with its Skyteam partners, so I could unfortunately see that a decision could be made to push Greece traffic via partner hubs as they have already done for other former Delta routes.

According to internal communications in Network Planning, JFK-ATH, JFK-NCE, JFK-FCO, and ATL-MXP will all be back in the summer. DL has many markets that will see a seasonal decrease: AMS-EWR, AMS-PDX, ATL-BCN, ATL-BRU, ATL-DUB, ATL-DUS, ATL-MAD, ATL-MAN, ATL-STR, ATL-ZRH, CDG-SLC, JFK-BCN, JFK-IST, JFK-MAD, JFK-PRG, JFK-VCE.

Additionally, ATL-ACC will be terminated and JFK-ACC will increase from 4 to 5 times weekly, then daily in S13.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 6:54 pm

"While they say they will be back in 2013, I believe this is a bad omen as DL tends not to like seasonal only destinations where business demand is smallish."

Actually, DL has a good history of bringing these routes back when they say they are going too.

JFK-ATH is a staple from the Pan Am days. I am shocked it is going sesonal at all.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 7:14 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 19):
JFK-ATH is a staple from the Pan Am days. I am shocked it is going sesonal at all.

Pan Am did not fly JFK-ATH. Athens was served via European based 727s.

For TWA Athens was a big market, for PA it was much less, and not even one continuously served over the decades.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 19):

Everything was fed Via FRA with PA . Then DL operated it with A310s for a while . I once flew LGW FRA ATH in the old days.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting gokmengs (Reply 5):
Its simply unreal, I guess it goes to show us all how badly the airlines are affected by high fuel prices. Don't mean to hijack the thread but what does this mean for IST? There is over 1000 seats daily after july 1 betwwen NYC-IST

Big difference is that Turkey is an economic tiger and Greece an economic dog. Axing NYC-IST would mean that Skyteam looses a direct link between the US and a rapidly growing company (and leave this market entirely to Star).

Moreover, many European airlines also reduce capacity to ATH during the Winter (and some have already decreased capacity to the minimum). AF goes from 5 to 4 daily, AZ from 4 to 3 daily and TP and SN seems to cut ATH this Winter as well.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
Pan Am did not fly JFK-ATH. Athens was served via European based 727s.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that Athens service was both ways.....ATH-FRA (727s)alternated days with ATH-JFK.(A310s)....I'm almost positive that PA was flying ATH-JFK and DL took over the service immediately.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 23):
.I'm almost positive that PA was flying ATH-JFK and DL took over the service immediately.

No, PA never had nonstop JFK-ATH. ATH was started in the eighties as a 727 tag from FRA and remained that way until Delta took over the European ops in 1991. As others mentioned, TWA was the one that had nonstop JFK-ATH. Delta started JFK-ATH on their own..
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 9:51 pm

Quoting panamair (Reply 24):

I always remember the TWA JFK flight , we used to go to Hellenikon to watch it take off. The police on bikes used to stop you going down the side road when it was taking off due to security and jet blast !
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 9:51 pm

Greece is in such an unseen position you can't blame delta for taking the low off season off. I think the service will be resumed as scheduled and summer tourist numbers high but if Greece spins into chaos the us carriers might want to avoid it. I was just there last summer it is not in chaos outside of Athens at times and the tourist areas generally are safe generally but you are seeing more pain in alot of people obviously and Greece has been pretty close to spinning out of control I think seasonal makes sense in a tourist market that could change quickly
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Sun May 06, 2012 10:00 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 26):

I don't think the tourist season will be effected. Time will tell the votes are being counted as we speak  
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Mon May 07, 2012 6:41 pm

DL today apparently announced they will keep the 2nd daily DTW-CDG flight on through the winter which was originally going to be seasonal summer only.

AF has operated the DTW-CDG flight with an A340. Starting this summer DL will add a 763 DTW-CDG in addition to the AF flight which will now go year-round.

This is likely meant to offset some of the other seasonal reduction in other markets across the Atlantic next winter.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Mon May 07, 2012 6:57 pm

I thought Hellenic were only going to operate an ATH-JFK service if they got an A340... both of which weren't taken up in the end?
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Mon May 07, 2012 7:33 pm

Quoting HullCitySpotter (Reply 29):

That was their excuse for the delay of service. There is always an excuse from them ! IIRC they operated a few JFK flights with B742.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Mon May 07, 2012 8:00 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Interesting this will make it the first time I can remember in decades that there will be no US-Greece nonstops.

It is reflective of the state of near collapse in the Greek economy. Few are interested in paying a non-stop premium to get to ATH or anywhere else in Greece.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Mon May 07, 2012 9:27 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 15):
Dont have 2011, but in 2010 about 320,000 had direct US-Greece itineraries. Obviously the total visitation numbers between the countries is higher as people might have flown on separate tickets, or broken their journey up with stops along the way.

Thank you. I'm certain with the current Greek economy, the numbers are less. Those I know traveling to Greece this year are doing so via cruise ship.  
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
Pan Am did not fly JFK-ATH. Athens was served via European based 727s.

Interesting. Thank you.

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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Mon May 07, 2012 11:13 pm

Quoting panamair (Reply 24):

No, PA never had nonstop JFK-ATH. ATH was started in the eighties as a 727 tag from FRA and remained that way until Delta took over the European ops in 1991. As others mentioned, TWA was the one that had nonstop JFK-ATH. Delta started JFK-ATH on their own..

Thanks. I guess it was just an assumption on my part as DL started the JFK-ATH service about the same time as taking over the PA routes and alternating the nonstop routes with the ATL-FRA flights.
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Mon May 07, 2012 11:30 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 13):
here are the ones I can think of with no direct air service to the US this summer:

Luxembourg (neither do Andorra/Monaco/Lichtenstein/San Marino, but none of them have airports)
Hungary
Slovakia
The Balkans: Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, B&H, Kosovo
Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
Malta (a little far-fetched)

You can delete Latvia. HY (Uzbekistan Airways) has been operating JFK-RIX-TAS 763 service once a week for several years, with 5th freedom rights JFK-RIX.


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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Tue May 08, 2012 2:13 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 15):
While they say they will be back in 2013, I believe this is a bad omen as DL tends not to like seasonal only destinations where business demand is smallish.

JKF-KEF, JFK-VLC, JFK-AGP
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Wed May 09, 2012 1:30 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
has been operating JFK-RIX-TAS 763 service once a week for several years, with 5th freedom rights JFK-RIX.

Thats a very interesting route ! Wonder what the fares are ?

---

For anyone interested I found an old Pan Am Timetable with the ATH-JFK schedules in Via FRA :


.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Wed May 09, 2012 6:46 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Still kinda amazing Greece will be left without a real nonstop link to the US come the winter.

Certainly quite an indication of the poor economics of the market. Between the already seasonal nature of the market, the Greek economic meltdown and continued high fuel cost, things must truly be in the toilet.

Yes I think Greece is in a really bad position. If they pull out of the Eurozone they will basically have to pay cash for everything. And with what ? Drachmas are gone, although I'm sure some have kept a few for nostalgias sake. Thread in Non-Av on this topic.

Quoting Tdan (Reply 4):
US-ATH has always been terrible in the winter. It was just more tolerable since it could cover the variable costs in the offseason and make it all back plus some in the summer. I guess with the financial crisis, the winter is truly wretched for all nonstop carriers.
Quoting EI2KSEA (Reply 7):
The Turkish market is also not affected by current Greek fiscal woes

Couple of slightly off-topic points:
1 - AC only operate YUL-ATH in the summer in order to feed the cruise market (763). Margins are probably razor thin. CP used to back in the 70s.
2 - Turkey is doing really well economically, even though the government may be drifting towards the Islamist p.o.v.

[Edited 2012-05-09 11:47:41]
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Viscount724
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Thu May 10, 2012 12:56 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 37):
Couple of slightly off-topic points:
1 - AC only operate YUL-ATH in the summer in order to feed the cruise market (763). Margins are probably razor thin. CP used to back in the 70s.
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 37):
Couple of slightly off-topic points:
AC only operate YUL-ATH in the summer in order to feed the cruise market (763). Margins are probably razor thin.

I expect there's also quite a bit (possibly even the majority) of VFR traffic on both YUL-ATH and YYZ-ATH considering they both have fairly large Greek communities. I believe AC is increasing the YYZ-ATH seasonal service from 3 to 4 per week this year, and reducing YUL-ATH from 3 to 2 per week. I think they were both 3 per week last year.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 37):
CP used to back in the 70s.

CP served ATH from 1968 to 1981. It was always a tag-on from either Rome, Milan or Amsterdam.
 
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RE: Delta Suspends JFK-ATH; No US-Greece Service W12?

Thu May 10, 2012 3:06 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 38):
I expect there's also quite a bit (possibly even the majority) of VFR traffic on both YUL-ATH and YYZ-ATH considering they both have fairly large Greek communities. I believe AC is increasing the YYZ-ATH seasonal service from 3 to 4 per week this year, and reducing YUL-ATH from 3 to 2 per week. I think they were both 3 per week last year.

That's correct, last year it was 3 & 3 (also to BCN). This summer it will be YYZ 4, YUL 2. Not sure if that applies to BCN as well. But I think that yields probably aren't all that great: likely not much J traffic, for example.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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