Aegean Airlines has celebrated 200 years of Greek independence with a huge ‘200’ flight path flown over the Peloponnese. Flight A3 1821 took off from Athens and flew for almost two hours, carving the ‘200’ over key spots from the Greek Revolution.
Aegean flies over the Peloponnese
Flight A3 1821, named in homage to the year the Greek War of Independence broke out, departed from Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport at 10:12 am EET today, flying west towards the Peloponnese. The plane formed the base of the ‘2’ over the site of Ancient Olympia before flying over other important locations, including Corinth, Argos, Kalavryta and Dervenakia.
The Peloponnese was where the Greek War of Independence first broke out in 1821, with tradition holding that the official declaration of revolution happened near Kalavryta on March 25th, 1821. The Aegean aircraft, an Airbus A320-232 (registration: SX-DNE), also maintained an altitude of 20,000 feet throughout to commemorate the occasion.
After forming the ‘200,’ the plane returned to Athens and touched down at 12:02 local time, falling just short of a symbolic 2-hour flight. After the declaration of war in 1821, the Greek War of Independence would rage for nine years before the 1830 London Protocol formally recognized Greece as an independent state.
Aegean postpones Croatia flights
Just two months ago, Aegean proudly announced its foray into Croatia for the summer, with direct flights to Split, Zagreb and Dubrovnik. The airline was due to commence flights to Zagreb and Dubrovnik by the end of March but has now delayed them until May at the earliest. Additionally, flights to Split, due to begin in May, have now been completely scrapped. Aegean now plans to operate flights to Zagreb on May 29th and flights to Dubrovnik on June 1st.
Not surprisingly, Aegean Airlines posted losses over 2020 amounting to €230 million ($272 million) after-tax, despite carrying over 2 million passengers to 78 destinations in Q3. The airline is looking at share capital increases of at least €60 million ($71 million) and is also set to receive a state subsidy of €120 million ($142 million).
Greece is banking on a successful summer
As a nation heavily reliant on tourism, Greece has been one of the EU member states pushing hardest for lighter travel restrictions. The country is experiencing a surge in COVID cases, with many pessimistic about the chances of a strong summer season. However, over the past few weeks, there’s been good news for Greece.
Over one million seats are scheduled for flights from London Heathrow to Greece, up by one-fifth compared to 2019. BA will offer 721,000, while Aegean will provide 299,000, should everything go according to plan. The addition of Sky Express, a Greek carrier, to the Heathrow market is also excellent news. Greece’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sofia Zacharaki, recently announced the country would welcome those who can provide proof of vaccination.
Are you planning a holiday to Greece this summer? Have you booked your flight yet? Feel free to share your holiday plans in the comments.