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Austrian Airlines Flies Huge Boeing 777 to Greece to Meet Demand

Austrian Airlines Greece
A widebody Boeing 777 in Austrian Airlines’ fleet in action. Credit: Masakatsu Ukon/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Austrian Airlines has announced that starting July 24, they will be deploying one of the larger aircraft in their fleet, the Boeing 777, for flights to Greece in order to meet demand.

The route which has seen such increased popularity is from Vienna to Heraklion, the capital city of the island of Crete.

Austrian Airlines increases flight capacity to Greece

In addition to the extremely popular flights to Heraklion, Austrian Airlines has generally seen increased demand for flights to Greece this summer, with it quickly becoming the airline’s most booked country.

Between July and August, the carrier has reported they have experienced more than 96,000 passengers booking to fly to Greece, a massive number particularly considering the pandemic’s general effect on the aviation industry.

Although, the city of Heraklion has been the hottest destination for Austrian Airlines customers this year; however, there are other extremely popular vacation spots that are located in Greece. In Austrian Airlines’ experience, there are two other spots which have been extremely favored by their customers: the islands of Rhodes and Kos.

The new service to Heraklion will run from July 24 to September 4 in order to meet the higher demand for flights to Greece during the summer. This new service brings the total flights that Austrian sends to Heraklion on Saturdays up to a staggering four flights.

Higher capacity to meet demand

The Boeing 777 seats 132 more passengers than the aircraft which Austrian Airlines usually uses for flights to Greece, the A320. The new flight to Heraklion will have a capacity of 306 passengers, including 36 in business class, 24 in premium economy and 244 in economy.

Flights will depart Vienna International Airport at 06:10 AM and arrive in Heraklion at 08:40 AM local time. The return flight will leave Heraklion at 10:20 and arrive in Vienna at 13:55 local time. The service using the larger Boeing 777 aircraft is only happening on Saturdays.

“The Austrians desire to travel is increasing every day. In order to be able to meet the travel needs of our passengers, we are constantly adapting our offer. In particular, the booking figures for flights to Heraklion on Crete tripled between mid-May and the end of June. We are responding to the increased demand and are increasing capacity on this route,” the COO of Austrian Airlines, Michael Trestl, said of the new flight using a larger aircraft.

More European airlines capitalize on demand for flights to Greece

Transavia has drastically increased the flights they run between France and Greece for summer 2021.

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.

It is perhaps surprising that sales this year are surpassing the number of tickets sold in 2019, as the world is still fighting a global pandemic with new challenges in beating the virus cropping up often.

As a response to increasing consumer demand, Transavia is planning on making the same number of seats available to travelers online that it offered in 2019 for flights beginning in July through the month of August.

The increase in the number of flights connecting Paris to the Greek island of Corfu is most impressive, with those offered by Transavia Airlines on this flightpath doubling for the Summer.

However, Stubler was quick to point out that this increase in ticket sales is vital for a struggling industry.

“There is a catch-up effect, because for a number of months we did not sell (any tickets),” she highlighted, “but it also shows a strong appetite from customers (to travel).”

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