The Greek island of Santorini has seen enormous international development, with Middle East flights more than doubling. Qatar Airways has inaugurated Doha to Santorini, one of three destinations now served in Greece, joining routes to Athens and Mykonos. It follows the carrier launching in Mogadishu, Somalia, earlier this month.
Despite the perception of a lack of bed capacity, the ever-popular island of Santorini has seen enormous international development recently. A brand-new airport, with much greater floor space, has supported airline development
Qatar Airways took off from Doha to Santorini
On June 7th, Qatar Airways took off from Doha to Santorini. It operates on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the last flight in this very summer-seasonal market on September 18th. Only 45 flights will operate this season.
A320s are used on the 1,724-miles (2,775km) airport pair, with A7-AHI, an 11-year-old example, deployed on the first day. The route uses both the 132-seat configuration Qatar Airways’ lowest-capacity aircraft now that it no extended has the A319 – or 144-seat. Each layout has 12 completely lie-flat business seats and either 120 or 132 in regular economy. Analyzing schedules shows that the smaller 132-seat config will be used three-quarters of the period.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive said
As Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, told: “The Greek Isles are a leading traveler destination and an important market for Qatar Airways. There is high interest from across our network for flights to Santorini.”
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- Doha to Santorini: QR209, 10:10-14:40 (Tuesdays, block time 4h 30m), 07:45-12:20 (Saturdays and Sundays; 4h 35m)
- Santorini to Doha: QR208, 15:35-19:35 (Tuesdays; 4h), 13:20-17:15 (Saturdays and Sundays; 4h 5m)
Santorini has 5,796 international departing flights
According to the latest Cirium data, Santorini has 5,796 international departing flights this summer. That’s up by more than three quarters over summer 2019 (S19) and well over double the number, it had just five years ago. It means that the island is now Greece’s eighth-busiest for international service, up by two places versus S19.
While there wasn’t a Middle East service in S19, flights have more than doubled since last year (116%), albeit from a low base. The contrast with broader Greece-Middle East is stark, with flights down by 7%. Various islands have grown, but Athens, by far the largest market, hasn’t yet exceeded pre-crisis levels.
Etihad Airways and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi from
Qatar Airways from Doha is the latest in a string of Middle East routes. In S21/S22, these include Etihad Airways and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi from the UAE capital; flydubai from the region’s main airport; Gulf Air from Bahrain; and Aegean, Bluebird, and Wizz Air from Tel Aviv. Where’s next?
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