“2015, if all goes well, will be the year that Greeks could fly almost everywhere by seaplane,” said president and CEO of Hellenic Seaplanes Nikos Charalambous.
More than 40 water airports across Greece are currently at the final stages of development, said Charalambous. The nationwide water airports network will create many jobs, will boost the tourism industry and help in patients’ transportation.
As far as the new hydroplane routes and the prospect of foreign investments, Charalambous noted that “Greece can become a Maldives in Europe. It is a destination tourists from across the world want to visit. Investments in tourism will not stop, whether we remain in the Eurozone or return to the drachma. What is required is to project the right image to the rest of the world. Efforts made to attract foreign investments should not stop every time we have political developments.”
Regarding the cost of transportation, travel by seaplane will not be very expensive. For a half hour route, for example from Athens to Serifos, or Kos to Naxos, or Rhodes to Sitia, tickets are estimated at 75-80 euros. For a similar trip by conventional means of transportation, one should calculate costs to and from the airport, i.e. 35 euros to El. Venizelos airport, 22 euros from the Kos airport to the city of Kos, or 20 euros to Rhodes Airport.
Charalambous said that prices can be reduced if economy scales are developed. According to the business plan for investors, Hellenic Seaplanes will start with four 19-seat seaplanes in 2015, and increase to 20 hydroplanes by 2017.
The next step after the development of the national network of water airports will be to connect Greece with neighboring countries such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy and Croatia.
Hellenic Seaplanes was established in May 2013 and came as a result of enormous interest for investments in the field of hydroplanes in Greece.