Air Canada resumed direct service to Athens as Greece has extended the tourism season beyond summer. Flights depart from Montreal and Toronto for Athens International Airport (AIA) every day.
The first direct flight from Toronto arrived in Athens on March 27 and the first from Montreal arrived at AIA on March 28.
Under the existing schedule, the Air Canada flights will run through November 26, 2023.
As Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias noted during an official event at AIA, the Canadian market was among the top 10 for AIA in 2022 and one of the most important for the airport, the city, and the country.
Croatia Airlines has also announced it is planning to expand its services out of Athens, linking the Greek capital with three Croatian cities.
It is planning to start operating two flights a week on the Athens-Dubrovnik-Zagreb route on April 20 – on Thursdays and Sundays.
Similarly, in mid-May the company will introduce flights on Tuesdays, which means that passengers flying on this route will have three flights a week at their disposal.
Direct seasonal flights between Athens and Split will be introduced on May 27, flying out of Athens every Saturday.
Tourism season in Greece from early spring until early winter
In an interview on Open TV on Tuesday Kikilias referred to the extension of the tourist season, which now starts in early spring and extends until the beginning of winter.
“The tourism season has been extended and now when we talk about holidays we are not only referring to the three months of summer. From the beginning of March, Americans, Canadians, Australians, Chinese and all the Europeans of course, Israelis, and travelers from the Middle East started arriving on direct flights, and this will continue until the end of the year. Therefore, we have an ongoing tourism product,” he said.
As he pointed out, the rebranding of Greece played a decisive role in the development of tourism in the last two years, due to the successful management of the first waves of the pandemic, when quick reflexes and key political interventions meant that the health system did not collapse, as was the case in other more powerful European states.
On Monday Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also highlighted the extension of the season at a working meeting with the executive committee of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) to discuss the current tourism season.
“I believe that we have already met one of our main targets, which is none other than the extension of the tourism period so that Greece is not a destination that our visitors prefer only during the summer months,” he said.
Greece is expecting a 20 percent increase in tourism and a major boost to revenues in 2023. According to projections, more than one million American travelers and over €1 billion in revenue are expected to be generated by direct flights from the United States in the upcoming tourist season.