Greece, a long-time favourite destination for tourists worldwide, has a range of airlines ensuring a safe, smooth and comfortable flight for all visitors.
In Greece, there are five main airline carriers – Aegean, Olympic, Sky Express, Ellinair, and Bluebird Airways. Together, these Greek airlines service all the major destinations in the country, with daily services along the busier domestic routes.
To help you choose the best airline for your future flights in Greece, we’ve put together a small guide to Greek airlines.
Athens-based airline Aegean Airlines is the largest airline in the country, flying domestically within Greece and between Greece, as well as in Europe and the United Kingdom. Having been named the best regional airline in Europe on many occasions, this 4-star airline offers great service and is one of the safest airlines in the world. The company’s flights are operated by Airbus planes and Aegean became a Star Alliance member in 2010. The airline operates scheduled and charter services from Athens and Thessaloniki; with its main hubs being Athens International Airport, Macedonia International Airport in Thessaloniki and Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus. Aegean’s main destinations within Greece include the busiest routes: Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu and Mytilini. Miles+Bonus is the frequent flyer program of Aegean Airlines and it has three tiers: Blue, Silver and Gold; gold members of Miles+Bonus as well as passengers that travel on business class on an Aegean Airlines flight have access to the three Aegean Business Lounges in Athens, Thessaloniki and Larnaca.
Founded in 1957 by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, Olympic was once considered one of the most glamorous airlines in the world. Now named Olympic Air, it was acquired in 2009 by Aegean Airlines. With its main hub in Athens, the carrier continues to operate the domestic routes (some of them in co-operation with Aegean). Some Aegean international flights are also operated by Olympic Air. The airline currently services popular Greek destinations including Chios, Ikaria, Kalamata, Karpathos, Kastelorizo, Milos, Skiathos and Zakynthos. Miles+Bonus is the frequent flyer program of Olympic Air.
Sky Express, headquartered in Heraklion, Crete, was launched in 2005. With a hub in Athens and Heraklion, the airline flies to 35 domestic and eight international destinations. Sky Express is one of the safest airlines in Europe; however, since the company offers cheap flights, it’s considered a budget airline. Named the fastest-growing airline in Greece, destinations include Astypalia, Kalymnos, Corfu, Kozani, Syros, Volos, Paros, Milos, Rhodes, and Mykonos. German charter airline Condor also just announced it has launched a code-sharing agreement with Sky Express for flights to 28 destinations in Greece as of this summer (2022). This will include 17 direct services from Germany to Greece with transfers offered to another eleven Greek destinations.
Ellinair is Greece’s newest airline, which began operating in 2014- offering charter flights. The airline now flies to 32 different destinations and is considered one of Greece’s relatively cheapest and safest airlines. Ellinair has five Airbus aircraft and mainly operates flights to Eastern Europe and Russia from its main base at Thessaloniki and Athens’ airport, with additional direct flights to international destinations from Corfu airport and Heraklion airport (in peak season). During the summer season, Ellinair operates several A320s, performing charter services in association with major tour operators. The charter flights connect visitors from Greece to Italy, Poland, Israel, Russia, Austria, Germany, Ukraine and other countries.
Having launched in 2008, Blue Bird Airways is a Greek airline that offers regular and seasonal scheduled flights. The airline is based at Heraklion International Airport in Crete and offers flights to several Greek islands, as well as to other destinations within Europe. With a strong focus on providing scheduled and charter flights from Tel Aviv, Blue Bird Airways’ fleet consists entirely of the Boeing aircraft and domestic destinations include Heraklion, Kos, Mykonos, Rhodes, and Thessaloniki. This budget airline only offers Economy Class and doesn’t have a frequent flyer program, nor is it part of an airline alliance.
Main Image by Aegean Airways