Low-cost carrier Volotea, which specializes in flights to mid- and smaller‐sized European cities, on Thursday inaugurated its 12th European base at Athens International Airport.
In the first phase, Volotea will permanently base a Boeing 717, a 125 seat twin-jet aircraft, and hire 30 local staff in Athens.
The airline has started to operate a new daily route from Athens to Heraklion from last week, in addition to flights to Santorini and Mykonos.
Volotea flies to five destinations in Italy – Venice, Bari, Genoa, Palermo and Verona and two destinations in France – Marseille and Toulouse available from Athens and Heraklion.
At the same time, local media in Chania report that Volitea management is in discussions with Fraport to replace some of the routes Ryanair abandoned in search of higher profits, particularly the Athens route and some to Italian cities, where there is considerable demand for all year round travel to Chania.
According to local reports however, the management of Volotea however seem to be wary of Ryanair’s unpredictability fearing that the Irish budget carrier might return to Chania to drive out the competition, given that it has made a large order for new aircraft increasing its passenger carrying capacity, and with Chania being a very popular destination.
Volotea is a Spanish company created by former Vueling founders, Carlos Muñoz and Lázaro Ros.
It commenced operations on 5 April 2012, from Venice Marco Polo Airport
It currently operates 11 Airbus A319 and 17 Boeing 717-200, the only European operator to use these aircraft.
In November 2015, Volotea announced plans to phase out their 717 fleet over the next few years and replace it with Airbus A320 aircraft.