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US Travel Interest to Greece Skyrockets

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United States Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt. Credit: US Embassy Athens

US travel interest in Greece has skyrocketed, the United States Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, said on Wednesday as American Airlines responds to the demand by adding a new Summer flight between Athens and New York’s JFK Airport.

American Airlines is ready to turn on all the burners in its 2021 return to Greece with up to three flights a day, connecting Athens with the United States of America after a punishing tourist season during 2020.

Beginning on June 5, American Airlines will launch the new summer flight from Athens (ATH) to New York (JFK) using its comfortable Boeing 777-200 aircraft. This new flight is a milestone, as part of the Northeast Alliance between JetBlue and American Airlines.

This partnership offers customers enhanced connectivity and access to the Northeast’s largest network, according to American Airline officials.

“We are excited to be back in Greece this summer, with customer safety as our first priority, as always,” said Tom Lattig, the Managing Director of EMEA Sales for American.

“We know that there is a particularly high demand for travel between Greece and the United States,” he noted in remarks to the press.

“Our customers are excited to meet again with their friends and family on both sides of the Atlantic, or with the prospect of enjoying their long-awaited holiday trip to historic Greece, or even traveling to the beautiful Greek islands,” he added.

Starting on Saturday, June 5, American will re-establish the seasonal connection between Athens and Chicago (ORD) as well, using a wide Boeing 787-8 aircraft, while beginning on August 18, the company will resume summer flights from Athens to Philadelphia (PHL ), also employing the Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

Ambassador Pyatt: US travel demand for Greece has skyrocketed

American travel demand for Greece has skyrocketed due to the positive messages that the Greek tourism authorities have sent out to the world, including the effective management of the pandemic, the priority given by the Greek government to the vaccination of the inhabitants of the islands and tourism workers in tourism.

The establishment of effective health protocols also appears to be a defining factor in the great interest in Greece as a Summer travel destination, according to the US Ambassador.

Speaking at the American Airlines event to celebrate the launch of daily direct flights from New York, Chicago and Philadelphia to Athens, Pyatt said that Americans look forward to discovering a secret that everyone here knows: that the crystal clear waters and sparkling beaches of this country, its mountain paths, its ancient monuments and museums and its rare, brilliant light are something very special.

The ambassador referred to the “record number of nine daily direct flights by US airlines to Greece,” and welcomed the efforts of airlines such as AA to increase daily direct flights between Greece and the USA.

He also expressed hope that at least some of these seasonal services from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dulles will soon become permanent flights year-round. “This is good for both our economies and strengthens the bonds between the peoples that are so important to this bilateral relationship,” Pyatt remarked.

He also declared that “the Greek government’s approach to the pandemic, based on science, and its timely and consistent messages about Greece’s opening up to tourism, send a strong message of Greece’s willingness to welcome American visitors again.”

He also noted that it was an honor “for the team of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that after strong promotion by the Greek government, the European Union is moving forward with the COVID Digital Certificate, which will facilitate free movement and economic recovery efforts.”

“This is another example of Greece setting high standards for the European response to COVID 19,” he said. The Greek PM was the first European leader to strongly advocate for a vaccine passport which travelers would be able to show as they made their way through airports and other gateways, confirming that they either had bene vaccinated, tested negative, or had immunity against the virus.

Pyatt also had warm words for Greece’s Minister of Tourism, Harry Theocharis, for his decision to visit the United States last month to meet with executives of American, Delta and United Airlines. He noted that the visit was another great indication of the Greek government’s focus on working with the US private sector to promote much-needed economic recovery for both countries.

The American ambassador also made special reference to the 545 blue flag beaches, the thousands of world-class historical and cultural destinations in Thessaloniki, giving attention also to what he termed “beautiful Kastelorizo, the easternmost island of Greece and the first Greek island that has been fully vaccinated.”

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