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American Airlines Expands European Reach with New Nonstop Flights to Athens

American will launch a nonstop service to the Greek capital from New York JFK next month and will resume direct services from Chicago this June

by Fergus Cole

April 14, 2023

Photo: Athens, Greece. Courtesy of Constantinos Kollias / Unsplash

American Airlines will resume nonstop flights between the U.S. and Greece next month as part of the carrier’s plans for expansion in the European market.

Beginning May 1, American Airlines will launch a direct service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Athens International Airport (ATH), followed by the resumption of direct services to the Greek capital from the airline’s hub at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in June.

Photo: Courtesy of American Airlines

Nonstop flights between the U.S. and Greece are coming back due to the high demand for travel to Greece. Last summer, the U.S.-Greece market had a lot of demand, and this year it’s expected to be even more popular since COVID-19 travel restrictions have been lifted in both countries.

According to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, the country expects to welcome a record number of foreign visitors this year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels in 2019. “Based on the data, we are 20% above 2019 levels,” he said, citing the success of the Greek National Tourism Organization’s tourism campaigns over the past 12 months.

The new services are also part of AA’s plans to expand its footprint in the European aviation market. The Dallas/Fort Worth-based carrier plans to operate 14% more transatlantic flights this summer than in 2022 and is set to run up to 64 flights per day between the U.S. and Europe. Twenty-six of these will be to London Heathrow (LHR), while other destinations will include Rome (FCO), Paris (CDG), Madrid (MAD), Barcelona (BCN), Dublin (DUB), and Venice (VCE).

“We are pleased to be able to meet the growing demand for flights to the U.S. from Europe,” said Kyle Mabry, Vice President of Operations and Commercial for EMEA and APAC. “Last summer showed us that travel is high on people’s priorities, with summer getaways being a key point of reference every year. This year, the company provides 14% more flights, helping to further establish American as the leading U.S. carrier in Europe.”

Facing the Competition in Greece

American Airlines will face competition this summer on its New York to Athens route from Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Delta operates daily flights to Athens from JFK and will add a second from May 8. United Airlines, meanwhile, launched a seasonal service to the Greek capital from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) last Friday, April 7.

United operates the route five times weekly, which will increase to daily services in May. Emirates also operates nonstop services between EWR and Athens all year round.