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Airlines Add Flights to Greece to Meet Demand for Summer 2021 Travel

Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. Credit: Greek Reporter

The highest-ever number of direct US-Greece flights are now operating this Summer. With many millions of Americans and Europeans now fully vaccinated, the interest in traveling to Greece is continuing to increase 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 in early June.

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.

As islands are usually the main points of tourist interest, the country embarked upon an ambitious program of vaccinating all island residents this past spring. According to the Greek government, all island residents will have been vaccinated, regardless of age, by June 25.

United Airlines

United launched new nonstop Greece flights from Washington’s Dulles Airport to Athens, this Summer, starting this week.

The new route will be one nonstop flight and another nonstop route, from Newark, New Jersey to Dubrovnik, Croatia, may also be helpful to some who desire to make their way to Greece as well.

The Athens flight was the first nonstop route for United between the U.S. capital and the Greek capital, with daily departures from July 1 through October 3 of this year.

American Airlines

American Airlines announced on Wednesday has added three more USA-Greece direct daily flights, as travel interest in Greece has skyrocketed in the US. American is now flying to Athens from New York, JFK, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Starting June 5, American Airlines launched its new summer route connecting Athens with New York’s JFK airport, using a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

Beginning on August 18, the company will resume Summer flights between Athens and Philadelphia using a Boeing 787-8 aircraft.


Delta is now operating a daily flight from Atlanta to Athens, which is the first time in a decade that this route has been used. The major US carrier also has flights to Athens out of Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia, among other cities.


The Ireland-based budget airline Ryanair announced a total of 74 new routes connecting Greece to European cities and countries, making its flight roster the largest ever for Greece this Summer.

The extra flights serve as an important harbinger of the huge increase in Greek tourism that the company expects the rest of this Summer.

Ryanair’s Director of Marketing & Digital, Dara Brady, announced the added flights, saying “Air traffic is set to soar and we are delighted to announce the biggest ever Greek summer schedule with a total of 218 routes, including 74 new and over 550 weekly flights connecting Greece to a host of international and domestic destinations.”

The new Ryanair schedule includes flights to three new bases in Greece – Rhodes, Corfu and Chania, Crete.

Air France/KLM

Air France has stated that six destinations outside of Athens this Summer will be included on their flight schedules — Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Heraklion. All of these flights will originate from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

All of the Air France/KLM routes will be operated from 2 to 4 times a week. The French-Dutch consolidated airline plans to further strengthen its presence at Greek destinations, especially during July through August, to meet the growing demand.


Lufthansa, a longtime player the transatlantic trade, was already operating flights between JFK and Athens, with one stopover in Zurich, all last Winter and Spring, with service continuing at the present time.


Transavia Airlines, based in France, will increase the number of flights they operate between France and Greece for the summer of 2021, according to the company’s CEO.

The airline is planning to increase the number of their 2021 flights between the two locations to equal all those they operated in 2019 — which was a banner year for tourism in Greece.

Greece has long been an extremely popular destination for French tourists, with many frequenting a number of Greek islands. Transavia is hoping to capitalize on the increased interest in travel between the two nations as the coronavirus situation begins to improve.

“For the past few weeks, we have observed 30-to-40% more sales (in comparison to) the same time in 2019,” said the CEO of Transavia France, Nathalie Stubler, recently.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways

The Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini will be a direct flight away from Abu Dhabi due to two new Etihad Airways seasonal flights, the airline announced in June.

Flights to Mykonos will operate between July 8 and September 11, 2021 and Santorini between July 9 and September 12, 2021. Both destinations will benefit from the twice weekly direct service on an Airbus A320.

The flights, which will operate alongside Etihad’s standard service to Athens, will be slightly over four hours in duration.

Gulf Air, Bahrain

Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air had also added two new summer destinations in Greece — Santorini and Mykonos — to its network in an effort to keep up with consumer demand.

Both of the Greek islands will be served by Gulf Air’s new Airbus A320neo, with flights operating two times per week for each aircraft. Service between Bahrain International (BAH) and Santorini (JTR) bill continue through Sept. 22, while the BAH-Mykonos (JMK) route will go through September 30.

Acting CEO Waleed AlAlawi stated when announcing the routes “We’ve researched and studied various destinations to add to our seasonal summer network and we’re excited to reveal Santorini and Mykonos as the new boutique additions.

“We will be flying to both these destinations for the first time in the history of Gulf Air and we will be the only airline in the region flying to Santorini.”

Santorini and Mykonos will become the second and third destinations in Greece served by Gulf Air, after Athens.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is now operating direct flights from Doha to the jet-setters’ paradise of Mykonos.

Flights will operate three times a week, connecting the cosmopolitan Greek island with more than 35 cities in Asia and the Middle East.

Wizz Air

The discount carrier Wizz Air added new routes from Tel Aviv to the Greek islands this past Spring, in response to the jump in demand after the agreement between Greece and Israel allowing 10,000 Israeli tourists per week to travel to Greece.

The new Wizzair routes, which connect Tel Aviv with Corfu and Zakynthos, are in addition to those already announced by the Hungarian carrier to the Greek islands of Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini.

Emirates Airlines

Based in the United Arab Emirates, this major carrier restarted flights between the United States and Greece on June 1.

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