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Rhodes: 10% of the accommodation capacity is affected by the fires

Featured Rhodes: 10% of the accommodation capacity is affected by the fires

The tourism of Rhodes received a big blow in the heart of the summer season due to the fire that has been burning for six days in the south-eastern end of the island. As market players point out, a domino of cancellations is expected in hotel and room rental reservations in the next few days, although until yesterday tourists were still arriving on the island from European countries.

As estimated by the Region, approximately 75 hotels were evacuated in the southern and eastern parts of the island, with more than 16,000 tourists being transferred to structures or other accommodations to be accommodated. Of the 75 hotels, three remained completely closed, as in the rest, as the information states, there were security personnel who facilitated those travelers who wished to take their luggage and personal belongings and either leave the island, or be transferred to another accommodation.

Some of the hotels have suffered damage, mainly in the surrounding area, while the exact assessment of the damage will be completed in the coming days.

The fire in Rhodes has been raging for the sixth day, while the Fire Brigade forces are fighting in Aigio, Karystos, Corfu,

What the ministry says

However, information from the Ministry of Tourism indicates that the entire crisis concerns 10% of the island's hotel capacity without affecting the rest.

The Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni is in Rhodes where she is expected to talk to foreign journalists and give interviews to foreign mass media.

Despite the fire raging on the island, until yesterday planes were landing in Rhodes carrying tourists who had planned their holidays. It is indicative that for yesterday Sunday, according to information from the South Aegean Region, 53 aircraft were scheduled to land in Rhodes, of which only 8 aircraft were empty and approached the island in order to pick up tourists who wanted to leave.

Also, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Christos Tsekouras, met in Rhodes with Fraport's General Manager of Operations, Mr. Spyrato, the President of the Union of Air Traffic Controllers of Greece, Mr. Psaro, and representatives of foreign airlines, with the aim of facilitating passengers and the smooth operation of "Diagoras" Airport, given the conditions created by the fire that broke out on the island. the previous days.

Movements and the meeting

In total on Saturday, 356 movements were made moving 50,000 passengers, while yesterday Sunday, until 16:00, 165 movements were made moving 20,000 passengers. This number will more than double in the coming hours as passenger traffic increases.

There are quite a few tourists who flocked to the airport to travel earlier than the scheduled departure time and day.

In the meeting in collaboration with the two companies that handle the largest volume of passengers in Rhodes, TUI and Jet2, the next flights were planned.

In particular until 03:00 am. on Monday morning, 14 flights with approximately 2,700 passengers departed from the two companies. In total, until 00:00 AM, there will be 44 flights, departures and arrivals, with approximately 14,500 passengers. All flights of both companies arriving at the island will arrive empty in order to pick up passengers.

Tour operators

At the same time, one after the other tour operators and airlines that handle the largest volume of passengers in Rhodes proceeded to cancel flights and packages at least until the end of the month. In this context, TUI, Europe's largest tour operator, has decided to cancel all the trips it had planned to Rhodes until Tuesday, July 25, "in order to guarantee everyone's safety and to return when the situation on the island is calmer and more controlled." with its newest announcement, it emphasized that its customers bound for Rhodes from Wednesday, July 26, can rebook or modify their reservation free of charge. According to TUI, the fires in the south-eastern parts of Rhodes have forced more than 7,800 of its visitors to move in the last 24 hours.

In the same direction, the British group Jet2, with its announcement at noon on Sunday, announced that due to the fires affecting Rhodes, it will stop until July 30 all flights from the United Kingdom to the island, before subject to a refund or rebooking, however, it will still operate flights from the Island to the UK to repatriate British tourists.

The British airline easyJet has announced that its flights to Rhodes are still operating, however, its travel arm, easyJet holidays, the company that operates as a tour operator, has decided to cancel all holiday packages to the Dodecanese island until next Wednesday.

For its part, Fraport Greece, the company that has taken over the management of Rhodes airport, emphasized in its announcement that "in order to better serve the passenger public, it is considered appropriate for travelers to consult, first of all, their airline and travel agencies, for any changes to scheduled flights due to emergency conditions, but also the local authorities and the corresponding embassies / consulates, for their smooth access to the airport".

The Ministry of Tourism has announced the creation of a help desk in the city of Rhodes where tourist operators and travel agencies can contact the following telephone numbers: 2241044335 and 2241044330

Sky express

Finally, SKY express announced that flights to and from Rhodes airport continue as normal. The connection with the island of passengers, special personnel and essential items continues. For the convenience of passengers who wish to be informed in more detail and to make any changes to their travel plans, SKY express has activated the special communication line +30 215 215 6513.

In particular, for those passengers booked until 31/07 to and from Rhodes Airport (RHO) who wish to make any changes to their travel plans, the following applies:

• Free rescheduling without charge to a future flight until 31 August 2023.

• Issuance of a voucher of equal value, valid for 12 months for any destination within the SKY express network.