Soaring High: Santorini Airport Expects A Bumper Summer
The Greek Island of Santorini expects a bumper summer. With 2.44 million round-trip seats, it is up by…
The Greek Island of Santorini expects a bumper summer. With 2.44 million round-trip seats, it is up by 5.6% over its previous high – the 2.31 million recorded in summer 2019 (S19). Some 16 additional airlines are to serve the island, with a good focus on the Middle East. And almost 70 routes have been added, meaning more than 10 extra countries are connected to the island.
Some 39 Greek airports are set to see scheduled service this summer. Santorini’s rise has pushed the airport into the country’s sixth-busiest spot, analyzing data provided by carriers to OAG confirms, up by two places in the past two summers. What airlines and route additions account for this?
16 airlines have added service
This summer, some 16 additional airlines have added Santorini when compared with S19. These include a raft of network airlines, such as Aegean, Aer Lingus, Air France, LOT, and SWISS. In addition, there is now a range of operators from the Middle East, a region last served from Santorini in 2018. These include Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, with this one of three units in the Wizz Air Group each with a separate air operator’s certificate (AOC).
- Aer Lingus
- Air France
- Etihad Airways
- Gulf Air
- LOT Polish
- Wizz Air Hungary
- Wizz Air Abu Dhabi
- Wizz Air UK
A fight for the top few spots
When all three Wizz Air units are combined, the Group has nearly 280,000 Santorini seats this summer across 22 routes, up from zero in S19. This means that the Group is now the neck-and-neck with Volotea for Santorini’s third-largest airline spot. If looked at on an AOC basis, Wizz Air Hungary, overwhelmingly the largest unit, is fourth at Santorini.
Ryanair is also up greatly, having more than doubled its capacity (+108%) from growing its route map from one to 17 destinations. This has pushed it from fifth to the second-largest carrier.
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Big growth to the Middle East
One obvious development is the big growth to Santorini from the Middle East. Now, four airlines – Etihad, flydubai, Gulf Air, and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi – are to launch service. Between them, they’ll offer more than 53,000 seats, OAG reveals, six times more than the previous level. We previously examined which destinations both flydubai and Emirates bring to that ever-closer partnership.
All but Wizz Air will operate triangularly with Athens (Etihad and Gulf Air) or Mykonos (flydubai) to help fill up their aircraft. In addition, Ryanair and Wizz Air both serve Tel Aviv with up to four-weekly services in total. Funnily enough, they both operate on the same days: Tuesdays and Saturdays.
68 routes added in all
68 routes have been added versus S19, with the top-10 additions, organized by seat capacity, shown below. These 68 include routes where more than one airline has launched a head-to-head competition. For example, both Ryanair and Wizz Air have added Milan Malpensa.
- Wizz Air: Milan Malpensa
- Air France: Paris CDG
- Ryanair: Milan Malpensa
- Wizz Air: Rome Fiumicino
- Volotea: Thessaloniki
- Jet2: Manchester
- LOT Polish: Warsaw
- Ryanair: Dublin
- Ryanair: Vienna
- Wizz Air: Vienna
Malpensa is now the #1 international route
Malpensa seats have more than doubled (+137%), and it is now Santorini’s number-one international destination. It has displaced Gatwick, whose seats have fallen significantly (by 60%) because of being on the UK’s amber list.
While multiple countries have risen greatly and over 10 additional nations are now served from Santorini, Italy stands out. Seat capacity from Italy now exceeds 445,000, the result of nine airlines operating non-stop service (up from five in S19) from 15 Italian airports (11). These include both Forli and Trapani with Lumiwings.
Are you planning to visit Greece this summer? Let us know in the comments.