Published on Thursday, October 22, 2015

EasyJet in talks to extend holiday season in Greece

EasyJet is in talks with Greek tourist chiefs to persuade resorts to open earlier and close later so that it can offer flights to the islands from March until November.

Currently, many restaurants and hotels in holiday resorts in Greece don't open until May and shut down at the end of September.

EasyJet's UK regional director Sophie Dekkers told Bloomberg the airline is trying to persuade them to stay open until the end of October from next year.

The airline is looking for places to add capacity during the winter due to the forced suspension of flights to Tunisia after the Foreign Office warned against all but essential travel to the destination following an attack on tourists in Sousse, in which 38 people including 30 British holidaymakers were killed.

Dekkers admitted in an interview that the airline was cautious about adding more capacity to other countries in North Africa, including Egypt, due to unrest.

She said the airline would like to fly to extend the season to Greece, but said it was a chicken-and-egg situation. "We can't fly people there if there aren't hotels or restaurants open, but they're not going to open unless we're bringing people in," she told Bloomberg.

An easyJet spokesperson told TravelMole: "We know there is demand from our customers to fly to Greece for more of the year and so if we are able to increase number of flights we offer this will not only benefit both our customers but also the economy and tourism industry in the destinations we serve."


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  • This CAN be done - with the right super-effort

    I saw many try to extend the Greek travel season in my recent 10 years of building and running travel businesses in and to Greece. I always wanted to pull winter into primetime - and did in a microscopic way - that"s not enough. But the opportunities now are HUGE. This CAN be done. May and October are often excellent months to be in Greece, especially Crete and the southern-most islands. This needs an "Empathetic & Energetic Boots on the Ground" super-approach. Hotels have tried this and been let down by cafes and restaurants (one open with the other closed makes for a sad holiday experience!) and Cafes and restaurants have tried and been let down by hotels. You get the picture. That is in the past. Now, with an effort involving Direct inclusion of several small to medium size businesses in each locale where this is to be implemented, each will have to answer to the other if they renege on the agreement to be open during stated periods, and each will sign up in such a way that they may gain (they will in fact) when they stay open, but can only and definitely lose (money is key!) if they close during these agreed periods. It's NOT enough to think like businesses do in the UK, or Sweden, or Germany - the obvious things there, are not obvious or necessarily effective and beneficial in Greece. Even the travel biz (with its apparent "intel" on the ground in holiday destinations) does not get this right in every case! So this is a hint of how it can be done. Some of the reasons it should be, are mentioned in your article, others include the better appetite for shoulder season travel, the growth of those traveling in September (to stay out of the school holiday and over-populated-with-children periods, the greater acceptance of new routines in Greece after the lessons (still continuing) of the Greek and worldwide economic malaise's - and more. And yes, Ask me if you like. Here"s to the successful extension of the travel season - winter in Greece. Yassas!

    By Roger Ellman, Thursday, October 22, 2015

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