Flights from Moscow to Skiathos Island to Start in June

Alina Khorosheva, 28.03.2014 07:07
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Panteon tour operator is organizing an exclusive charter flight program to Skiathos Island (Greece). It will be launched on June 1, 2014, and it will last until the end of the summer season. The tour operator is looking to send about 2,500 Russian tourists on a holiday to this new destination. This was announced during a press conference at MITT-2014 by Panteon’s General Director Anatoly Garkushin.

According to him, the tour operator has already launched early booking for Skiathos. Despite the worse-than-expected results, Panteon’s team predicts good sales. Their confidence is bolstered by the fact that the island is quite popular among the Europeans for being so unlike the rest of Greece.

The island is expected to be most popular among the repeat visitors who are genuinely fond of Greece.

Early booking is not at all a bellwether for the following season, especially given the fact that this year the situation changed drastically due to the growth of the euro. Many tourists have opted to wait and see where the wind blows, although at first bookings to Greece were selling well. As of now, the drop in booking volumes on average reaches 30% compared to last year’s results for the same period,” said the director of the company.

This year the carrier will be VIM Airlines, with flights departing once a week from Domodedovo International Airport. Tours to the island will be a bit more expensive than to other Greek destinations due to the exclusively organized flights.

Last year in September we organized a seminar on Skiathos, the participants of which almost unanimously voted in favor of charter flights. I have to admit, it was not easy getting this program up and running. After lengthy and arduous negotiations with different carriers we finally found a partner – VIM Airlines,” said Anatoly Garkushin.

By the way, Panteon is not the first Russian tour operator to set its sights on the beautiful green Greek island. St. Petersburg’s Versa and Sovlex-Travel have already tried organizing charter flights to Skiathos, with a layover in Rhodes. However, due to the overabundance of domestic flights in Greece the tours ended up being too cheap, and the program was canceled.

Head of the Tourism Department of Skiathos’ town hall Arguris Meryas, who also was at the press conference, said that the development of tourism on the island started more than 40 years ago, but before this very moment there have been no Russians on Skiathos.

We are very excited about this upcoming program. I want to point out that the island is perfectly suited for demanding tourists. It is absolutely safe; it has more than 60 sand beaches, lush vegetation, busy nightlife, and a wonderful climate. The island runs a gamut of interesting excursions, and its residents are very kind-hearted and welcoming. It has a total of 10 thousand rooms in 3-5* hotels, not counting private accommodation,” he said.

The head of the department also said that each year more than 100,000 tourists from different parts of the world come to the island by air, and about 250,000 – by waterways.

Director of the Greek DMC ‘Gats Travel’ Sergio Stereopulos proceeded to note that currently travel companies of Skiathos have business ties with tour operators from almost all European countries.

I am sure that the Russian program will take off and remain permanent,” he added.


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