Seaplane routes to Greek isles, coastal resorts again resurfaces

Monday, 15 May 2017 14:03
UPD:14:05
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By F. Zois
Aegean vice-president Eftihis Vassilakis said seaplanes could operate as a supplementary transport on the carrier's current network. ">fzois@naftemporiki.gr

A decades-old idea to commence regular seaplane routes towards Greece's numerous islands and even coastal resorts appears to have resurfaced over the recent period, with nascent operators reportedly in talks with a commercial carrier to offer supplementary air travel to the latter's passengers.

Linking islands and coastal cities without commercial airports via seaplanes has been a recurring prospect over the past 15 years or so, although red tape - initially - combined with non-viable operating costs prevented the idea from taking off.

The reported talks come ahead of the tabling of yet another bill allowing for the operation of seaplane facilities and corridors in the country.

According to sources close to the talks, the idea is to establish a "feeder line" between the commercial airline and seaplane operators.

According to reports, the envisioned framework would allow a passenger to fly from the small Dodecanese island of Halki to nearby Rhodes, and from there to take a commercial airliner to a final destination, all via one ticket. The same feeder line method would be employed for other isles in the Dodecanese without airports, such as Tilos, Symi, Nisyros and Kalymnos. Other connections on the drawing boards would be seaplane routes connecting Syros - which has a regular airport - to Folegandros, Anafi and Sikinos, or Ios with Santorini.

In answer to a question by a shareholder last week at a general assembly meeting, Aegean vice-president Eftihis Vassilakis said seaplanes could operate as a supplementary transport on the carrier's current network.

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