Despite the pandemic and the restrictions on air transport, a far from negligible number of Greeks chose to go on holiday by airplane this summer. Crete and Rhodes were the top choices, while some smaller destinations such as the island of Paros also stood out, in the context of the significantly reduced air traffic this year.
Predictably, Greeks chose to stay in Greece. Kathimerini understands that the number of Greeks who flew to destinations in Greece in July and August was very limited compared to previous years. As for their destinations abroad, the top picks were Cyprus and Germany, followed by Britain, France and Italy, but the number of people who chose one of the latter three was only a third of that that visited Cyprus and Germany.
After Crete and Rhodes, which accounted for the bulk of air trips by Greeks this summer, less promoted destinations fared well among the local population, such as Lesvos (even after corporate trips by nongovernment organizations are excluded), Samos, Chios and Limnos.
In contrast, traditional destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu were not as popular among Greek holidaymakers who flew to their destination. The exception was Paros, which was in high demand among Greeks.
Distance also played its part in the selection of the means of transport, as Greeks opted for flying if they were traveling to distant destinations.
Families accounted for the largest part of air tickets this summer, with the 24-53 age group grabbing the lion’s share. On the other hand, over-53s appeared much more reserved compared to the past.
Greeks also sought more flexibility in their tickets in comparison with the past, and avoided group bookings, choosing individual bookings instead.
Those more familiar with air travel for their summer holidays appeared to make the decision to travel by plane this summer more easily, while there was a large share of passengers that chose to fly to their summer destination this year for the first time.
As for Greeks abroad, they chose Greece for their holidays from very early on, even during the lockdown, and spent a particularly long period in this country over the summer.