Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Monday that direct flights from the USA to Greece will be extended into the winter months.
Speaking at “Travel Leaders” economic-development forum organized in south Athens, with the participation of important tour operators from all over the world and representatives of the three largest American airlines, the minister mentioned the positive messages for tourism from the US market.
Pointing out at the “the deepening of the strategic relationship developed with the USA throughout the previous period” Kikilias praised the establishment of nine direct flights a day with the largest airports in America, a number which corresponds to 63 flights per week.
“We have never had 500,000 travelers directly from America on “Eleftherios Venizelos” – coming from Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia with all three American companies – with the first flight having already started, as early as 7 March, that is, earlier than any other year,” he said
He added that next goal is now to increase direct flights from the USA to Greece and to extend their flight schedule beyond the summer months.
“Our main priority, already from the beginning of this year’s very successful summer season, is the extension of the tourist season in our country. In June alone, visitor arrivals from across the Atlantic were 50% up on 2019,” Kikilias underlined.
Representatives of the three American airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines) reportedly noted that, this year, Greece – and especially Athens – emerged in one of the most successful international destinations in which they operate.
For this reason, they have already put on the table the extension of their operation in Greece for the autumn-winter months, as well, they emphasized.
According to news agency amna, Delta Airlines, which “opened” for the first time a direct flight the Athens-Boston route after 25 years in 2022, has already scheduled flights to Greece until January 10, 2023, on the route New York-Athens, thus also covering the Christmas-New Year holidays.
Kikilias repeated the proposal to open a new direct flight connection from the USA – apart from Athens – to Thessaloniki, as well, saying that the “Macedonia” airport can become a hub for all the Balkans.”
The interest of America’s largest airlines in increasing direct flights from the US to Greece reportedly comes a few days after the announcement of the American Association of Travel Consultants (ASTA) for the region of Greece, regarding the great boost to the tourist flow from the USA to Greece given by the agreement- for the nine direct flights .
According to the data, this is a large number of high-income visitors, with the average expenditure of each American traveler reaching 2,000 euros per week (of which 25% goes to accommodation and 15% to food).
Asked to comment on these figures, the Minister of Tourism, Vassilis Kikilias, told APE-MPE: “We aimed, from the beginning, at the American tourist market, as the figures of the Bank of Greece give the American tourist the profile of a high spender traveler.”