airBaltic Eyes Greek Island Expansion With Crete & Santorini Flights

In the same week that Greece shared details of its plans to open for tourism, airBaltic shared that it is starting flights to Heraklion and Santorini. The Latvian airline is confident of a stronger period in the industry this summer.

YL-AAU A220 airBaltic
airBaltic is expanding its services ahead of an anticipated return of passenger activity across Europe this summer. Photo: airBaltic

Summer sun

The service between airBaltic’s base of Riga and Heraklion will start on May 15th. The flights will be twice a week and start at €179. GREEN Classic tickets are selling from €269 and Business from €669.

Meanwhile, the operation from Riga to Santorini is a weekly service and will start on June 5th. On this route, GREEN tickets are going for at least €139, GREEN Classic fares start at €249, and Business seats are priced from €679.

Tickets for both routes are available now. Moreover, both destinations will be served by airBaltic’s Airbus A220-300 aircraft.

Heraklion is the capital of the historic Greek island of Crete. Photo: airBaltic

Preparing for the next stage

airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss shared that this summer season, his airline is planning to connect Riga with many sunny destinations across the Mediterranean. Ultimately, he is “delighted to offer safe and convenient direct travel options” for passengers between Riga and the well-known Greek locations. He added that the carrier is getting ready for the upcoming season with an enhanced route map, and it believes the epidemiological situation should improve during this period for demand to increase.

“We are optimistic about the upcoming summer season. If travel in general will be possible and the epidemiological situation will improve as the vaccination levels increase, demand for air travel will return,” Gauss said in a statement.

“We will be prepared for that, thus during the upcoming days we will be revealing several new destinations, in addition to Heraklion in Greece. This summer season airBaltic aims to offer a wide range of safe connections from Riga.”

Santorini/Thira’s famous cliffs and turquoise sea have hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to see the sights each year. Photo: airBaltic

Tourists welcome

Just this week, Greek authorities confirmed that the nation will open up tourists from May 14th, declaring that “the whole country is safe.” The government is launching a series of measures to ensure that the reopening goes smoothly. Protocols include vaccination or negative test certificates, random checking systems at entry points, quarantine hotels for virus holders, and the vaccination of tourism workers.

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So, with Greece ready for visitors from the middle of next month, airBaltic shouldn’t have problems filling up its A220 narrowbodies to the country. There is undoubtedly a lot of pent-up demand for travel amid a year of downturn. Several members of the public across Europe will, therefore, be looking for a getaway this summer.

What are your thoughts about airBaltic’s flights to the Greek destinations of Santorini and Heraklion? Do you think the start of these services this summer is a good move for the carrier? Let us know what you think of the operations in the comment section.