The first direct flight of an American airline from the USA this year landed at Athens International Airport on Tuesday, opening this year’s tourist season earlier than ever before.
The flight took off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and was operated by Delta.
Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias was there with US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt to receive the first direct flight by an American airline to the Athens International Airport for this year’s tourist season.
Kikilias made the following statement:
“We welcome the first direct American flight to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. We are very happy that it is very, very early this year and it is a vote of confidence for the country and Greek tourism.
Nine direct flights depart daily from the USA for Greece, which shows how important our effort is – and it will be successful – to bring tourists from America to Greece.”
On his part, Pyatt said:
“Greece has so much to offer. Spring is a fantastic time of year here, and I’m really excited to have our first of our direct American flights, earlier than ever.
“This is just the beginning. We will have a record number of direct flights from the United States this year.
“I also want to say, Minister, as we meet against the background of the terrible developments in Ukraine, how much I appreciate your clear statements about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also about the tourism ministry’s initiatives to offer jobs in the tourism sector for the Ukrainian people displaced by the violence in their country.
“Therefore, it is wonderful that we have some good news today that we are focusing on and I am very optimistic that we will see a record number of American tourists, who will come to enjoy everything that Greece has to offer in the next eight, nine months.”
Direct flights from the US to Greece
Year-round, New York City’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is the only North American airport that offers direct flights to and from Greece; Emirates and United offer flights out of Newark. April 1 marks the restarting of United flights from Newark to Athens.
In early March, New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) joins Canada’s Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Montréal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) in offering North Americans a direct link to and from Greece; Delta offers flights out of JFK, whereas YYZ and YUL are served, primarily, by Air Canada.
In early April and until October, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) offers direct flights to and from Greece. And, by early April and until September, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) becomes the sixth airport in North America to offer a direct link to Greece; American Airlines offers flights out of ORD and PHL.
May 1 marks the beginning of United flights between Newark and Athens. And, by late May and until October, Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) also offers a direct link to Greece; Delta offers flights out of ATL and BOS, whereas United Airlines flies out of Dulles.