The very first direct flight to Greece from American Airlines landed on Friday at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens.
The flight departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Thursday and was met with great fanfare prior to taking off.
Direct flight to Greece
A short ceremony was held to celebrate the new flight to Greece.
The ceremony was well-attended with the Greek Consul General of New York, Konstantinos Koutras, being one of the notable figures there.
“We are here to celebrate the first American Airlines flight to Athens. What is happening this year, the first year after the pandemic, is truly unprecedented,” he stated.
“I’d like to highlight that this summer there will be four to five direct flights a day from New York by a number of different airlines. Two or three will depart from JFK airport, and two will take off from Newark Airport.
“There will also be direct flights from Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington DC,” said Koutras, outlining the incredible strides the airline industry has taken in regard to adding much-needed direct flights connecting major US cities to Greece.
In order to honor the new route, a Greek pilot, Manolis Gavalas, was at the helm of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
“I’m very happy about this first trip — we’ve been anticipating it for the last 32 years — from New York to Athens with American Airlines. We are very happy about it,” said Gavalas with pride before takeoff.
When the fully-booked aircraft had completed boarding and was preparing for takeoff on the tarmac, two airport vehicles approached it and created a ceremonial water arch over it.
A video from the celebration held at JFK Airport before the flight is shown below.
Record number of direct flights to Greece
With well more than a hundred million Americans now being fully vaccinated, the interest in traveling to Greece after the long months of the pandemic is increasing all the time.
As a result, major tour operators and airlines have added a record-high number of new direct flights to the country to meet the burgeoning demand.
“This summer we have more direct flights from the US than we’ve ever had, which shows that Americans want to travel to Greece,” the Greek Prime Minister noted on Tuesday.
Other airlines have joined American in providing flights to Greece this summer.
Delta Air Lines has added two routes from the United States to Greece, one departing from New York and the other from Atlanta.
Delta said in an announcement that the move was taken as part of its efforts to respond to its customers’ interests in destinations around the world.
United Airlines also recently announced more transatlantic flights to Croatia, Greece, and Iceland, all of which have flung open Europe’s doors to Americans. United has added flights from Newark Airport and Dulles International Airport in Washington DC.