When Delta suspended their service between New York City‘s JFK airport and Athens for this winter it marked the first time in 70 years that direct service was not available between Greece and the USA. Two airlines have recently indicated that they are going to try to fill that gap. Doha-based Qatar Airways intends to serve Doha-Athens-JFK on their 787 starting in 2013. And upstart carrier SkyGreece intends to serve several North America destinations from a hub in Athens.
The company’s website doesn’t offer much in the way of details so it would be easy to dismiss them as a flash in the pan. Their Facebook page, however, seems to have a bit more substance to it. The page has only been alive a month at this point but they’ve started posting details about the management team they’re hiring and they seem to have real employees lined up. The plan is to fly with only Greek in-flight crews on an Airbus A340-300. The schedule is expected to be released in a few weeks; initial indications are that New York will see service three times weekly while Toronto and Montreal will have one flight each. One source suggests that South Africa will also join the route map at some point.
It is hard to believe that there is so much demand for service between the markets that multiple carriers will be able to make a go of it successfully. Especially considering the state of the Greek economy.