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Greek tourism: Soaring demand for air travel in April

Featured Greek tourism: Soaring demand for air travel in April

Tourism is on the rise, with planes filling up for all destinations. Demand for air travel continues to rise and airlines are facing staffing issues.

According to IATA data, air carriers in Europe in March saw a 38.5% increase in traffic compared to March 2022, with capacity increasing by 27%.

The picture in Greece

In Greece, after a very good performance in March where international air arrivals increased by 81.1%, April also seems to have gone well.

The first figures come from the international airport of Heraklion, where 202,047 passengers arrived from abroad, a number increased by 10.85% compared to April 2022 (182,274 international passengers). Domestic traffic performed even better, with an increase of 20.55%, with 61,408 passengers landing at Heraklion airport, compared to 50,941 passengers last April.

But Athens airport also recorded a 29.8% increase in foreign arrivals in April compared to April last year, with 1,476,030 passengers landing at "Eleftherios Venizelos". Compared to April 2019, the increase reached 4.4%. In the first four months of the year, 4,526,242 passengers arrived in Athens from abroad (+54.7% compared to 2022 and +3.4% compared to 2019).

It should be noted that throughout Greece, for April, more than 1.6 million air seats were scheduled from abroad, coming from more than 50 countries from all over the world. Apart from Athens and Heraklion, the scheduled air seats for Thessaloniki were 215,000, for Chania 65,000, for Rhodes 135,000, for Kos over 30,000, for Corfu more than 60,000, for Santorini over 36,000 and for in Mykonos about 15,000.

The demand

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced strong growth in global demand for air travel for March 2023, up 52.4% compared to March 2022, reaching 88% of levels in the same month of 2019.

“The first quarter of the calendar year closed with strong demand for air travel. Domestic travel has been close to pre-pandemic levels for months. For international travel, two key benchmarks were at the top. First, demand increased by 3.5 percentage points compared to the previous month's growth, reaching 81.6% of pre-COVID levels. This led to a near-tripling of demand for Asia-Pacific carriers as China's resurgence took hold. And performance is improving as international load factors reached 81.3%. More importantly, ticket sales for both domestic and international travel indicate that strong growth will continue into the peak of the Northern Hemisphere summer season,” said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.

However, Mr Walsh noted that carrier capacity is falling short of demand, attributing part of this shortfall to labor shortages, delays in the delivery of new aircraft and strike action, for example by air traffic controllers in Europe.