Ryanair launched domestic services in Greece, with Tuesday’s first flight between Chania,Crete and Thessaloniki.
The low-cost carrier said it could be the first of many inter-Greek routes if the government accepts Ryanair’s tourism rescue plan.
The airline said it carried more than two million passengers to and from Greece in less than three years, and will operate 85 routes from 10 Greek airports—including the new Kalamata and Zakynthos airports—this summer, supporting up to 1,400 Greek jobs.
However, it pointed out that other Greek airports, including Athens, were continuing to miss out on potential traffic growth and associated jobs because their operators “refused to engage with Ryanair,” the airline said in statement. It pointed out that passenger traffic through the Athens gateway had dropped 22% from 16.4 million in 2008 to 12.8 million in 2012, “its lowest figure in a decade,” according to the airline.
Ryanair recently presented Greek Transport Minister Kostas Chatzidakis with a tourism rescue plan that could see Ryanair grow its Greek traffic to 10 million passengers a year by 2016.