The launch of seaplane flights in Greece could transform the country into the Maldives of Europe, according to The Spectator, the British magazine that has been in circulation since 1828 and is considered the longest-running in the world.
Bureaucratic difficulties delayed the introduction of seaplanes into Greece for years, but services are almost ready, the Spectator writes.
“An archipelago with about 3,000 islands and 9,000 miles of coastline, Greece is an ideal candidate for seaplane services,” is noted in the publication, explaining that in the Maldives, with almost half of the islands than Greece, taking a seaplane to your hotel or a restaurant is very common.
“Greece has hundreds of small islands that are not easily accessible. For this reason, many travelers choose the islands with the easiest possible access, the ones which either have an airport or are connected to the mainland through a short ferry trip.” says Vassilis Pantis, owner of The Greek Villas, a company that rents holiday homes. “There are a lot of small islands which are still isolated and have not been spoiled by mass tourism.”
Seaplanes are nothing new to Greece, with the first ones landing on Greek seas in the 1920s, and their flights coming to a halt after World War II. An attempt to revive them in the mid-2000s was halted due to the economic crisis.
The two main companies that lead the way in the effort to bring seaplanes back to Greece are Grecian Air and Hellenic Seaplanes. As the Spectator reports, the first flights will set off immediately with the first seaplane terminal in Corfu, while around 30 islands have applied to create seaplane terminals, including Halki, Symi, Tilos, Karpathos, Kefalonia, Ithaca, Lefkada and Meganissi.
Among the islands expected to benefit significantly from the launch of seaplane flights are Tinos, Sifnos and Amorgos, as well as Paxos, Ithaca and Meganissi.
Even on islands such as Rhodes, where normal planes land, the introduction of seaplanes will facilitate access to other parts of the island, which are further away from the airport.
But other destinations are also expected to benefit, such as Kardamili in Mani.
And according to Spectator, tickets for the seaplanes will be relatively affordable.
This article was previously published in Greek at moneyreview.gr.