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UK – Athens market about to welcome Hellenic Imperial to Gatwick; easyJet adding Edinburgh link in September

Look who’s BIG at Gatwick now! Hellenic Imperial goes LGW-Athens widebody in July.

Look who’s BIG at Gatwick now! Hellenic Imperial goes LGW-Athens widebody in July.

The recent announcement that Greek carrier Hellenic Imperial was planning to start (almost) daily flights from Athens to London Gatwick using an A340 has motivated anna.aero to take a closer look at the history of the UK – Athens air travel market. Traffic levels in 2010 were only slightly above those reported as long ago as 1995 (at around one million annual passengers), although in 2000, traffic peaked at 1.25 million. In 2009, demand almost reached the 1.2 million mark once again before falling away last year, partly as a result of the problems relating to the Greek economy.

Source: UK CAA

Source: UK CAA

Since 1995, some of the key developments have been:

  • 1 July 1998: easyJet starts daily flights from London Luton to Athens
  • 1 July 2002: easyJet starts daily flights from London Gatwick to Athens
  • October 2004: easyJet cuts frequency on London Luton to Athens route from two daily flights to one daily flight
  • 15 May 2008: Aegean begins doube-daily flights from Athens to London Stansted
  • 21 May 2009: easyJet begins flights from Manchester to Athens
  • 25 October 2009: Aegean moves its double-daily flights from London Stansted to London Heathrow
  • 15 November 2009: easyJet drops its London Luton to Athens service
  • 27 March 2011: Olympic Air ends its three daily flights from Athens to London Heathrow. Aegean doubles frequency from two to four daily flights between Athens and Heathrow

This summer, the following scheduled flights are currently being offered between Athens and airports in the UK.

UK Airport Carrier(s) (Weekly frequency)
London Gatwick easyJet (12), Hellenic Imperial (6)
London Heathrow Aegean (26), British Airways (29)
Manchester easyJet (3), Viking Hellas (2)
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 4 August 2011

On 20 September, easyJet will add three times weekly flights from its base in Edinburgh to Athens.


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