If 2021 is any indication of the future of transatlantic travel between the United States and Greece, we can probably expect expanded service in 2022 and beyond.
And as a result, Atlanta-based Delta Airlines is hiring Greek-speaking flight attendants, according to a recent post on its employment website.
With the easing of travel restrictions to Greece in May for American travelers, Greek officials embarked on a successful campaign to encourage U.S. airlines to fly non-stop to Greece.
Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis lobbied executives at Delta, United and other carriers to add or increase their schedules to the Greek capital.
It paid off as 2021 is seeing record numbers of American travelers to Greece— and the most-ever— daily non-stop flights from American cities to Athens.
Delta currently operates two daily non-stops from JFK and one from its Atlanta hub.
Dallas-based American Airlines added non-stop service from John F. Kennedy in New York for the first time and resumed pandemic-cancelled service from Philadelphia and Chicago.
Chicago-based United Airlines also resumed its non-stop service from Newark Liberty International Airport and added a non-stop flight from Washington DC’s Dulles International— the first time a flight is linking the two capitals.
Emirates is also operating its daily non-stop to Athens from Newark.
By many accounts, flights are leaving U.S. airports full or almost at capacity. In July and early August, American’s Chicago to Athens flights were at full capacity, while Delta was reporting near-capacity flights from JFK almost daily.
The flight loads are a good indicator for airline operations managers for 2022 and beyond.
The influx of Americans is good for the Greek tourism economy.
According to pre-pandemic statistics, around 1 million visitors from the United States visit Greece every year, injecting an estimated $1 billion euros into the economy or about €1,000 per visitor— the highest spending of all incoming foreign tourists.
In comparison, although many more Germans come to Greece annually (4.3 million), they spend an average of €700 per person, while travelers from the United Kingdom (3 million annually) spend about €650 per person.
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