Athens International Airport (AIA) is confident that the number of Chinese tourists arriving in Greece will soon return to pre-pandemic levels.
Athens International Airport (AIA), which provides direct flights between the Greek capital Athens and the Chinese capital Beijing and Shanghai, is confident that the number of Chinese tourists arriving in Greece will soon return to pre-pandemic levels.
AIA’s Director of Communications and Marketing, Ioana Papadopoulou, said at a press conference on Tuesday that AIA hosted a large number of Chinese tourists before Kovid-19 hit the world.
Air China launched direct flights between Athens and Beijing in 2017. Direct flights between the two capitals have doubled the number of Chinese tourists visiting AIA in just two years. The number jumped from 108,613 in 2019 to more than 217,600. Only 70,373 people came to AIA in 2021.
China, which was among the AIA’s top 20 international markets as of 2018, ranked 15th in 2019.
Air China launched direct flights between Shanghai and Athens on December 22, 2022. After resuming direct flights between Athens and Beijing last summer after a two-year hiatus, Air China now operates two direct flights per week between the two countries.
“We are committed to working together to greatly support the activities of the airlines in Athens and of course contribute to the success,” said Papadopoulou.
Xiao Juncheng, Chinese Ambassador to Athens, stated that the direct flights between China and Greece are an “important step” in achieving the goals of the 2022-2024 Joint Action Program, a program to enhance cooperation in the field of tourism, that was signed in Athens in March 2022, he said.
Xiao said, “China and Greece are leading players in the global tourism industry. Deepening cooperation will support the development of our tourism sectors and facilitate our investment, financing, trade and services, which will increase the well-being of the two peoples.
“Air China will actively support and initiate new exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the field of culture and tourism,” said Fan Hyun, General Manager of Air China in Greece.
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