First hydroplane flights expected this year
From flight trials at Corfu Port 2017
ATHENS. Corfu and Paxos ports have already been given permission, Diapontia Islands ready to receive permission and procedures are well underway for the remaining Ionian Islands.
Deputy Transport Minister Yiannis Kefaloyiannis met with Hellenic Seaplanes CEO Nikolas Haralambous to discuss the future of hydroplanes and the progress in the development of a network of waterways in Greece.
Flights almost ready to begin
The Hellenic Seaplanes CEO informed the Minister of the company's plans for its first flights this year, the new hydroplanes that will be coming to Greece, the booking system that will be made available for the public in the coming days and other matters that need to be arranged for the operation of waterways.
The memorandum of Strategic Alliance between Hellenic Seaplanes and IFLY includes an evaluation of IFLY facilities for Hellenic Seaplanes operations at Megara airport, the support operations and hydroplane maintenance, the provision of combined services for the leasing of aeroplanes, helicopters and hydroplanes and the joint creation of comprehensive tourist products and packages.
With regard to the waterway network being established in the country, they discussed the Deputy Minister's recent visit to Western Macedonia and the new transport 'map' being created with the construction of 5 new waterways in lakes on the initiative of the Western Macedonia Regional Authority and the local Aminteo and Kastoria Municipalities. Prior to the meeting the Western Macedonia Regional Governor Giorgos Kasapidis had met with Nikolas Haralambous in Athens to discuss the licensing procedure for waterways in Western Macedonia.
They discussed the readiness of waterways that have already been given licences (Corfu, Paxos and Patra); those about to receive their licences (Volos, Rethymnon, Patmos, Tinos, Sifnos, Ios, Skyros, Erikoussa, Othoni, Mathraki, Kalamata, Skopelos, Alonisos, Kylini, Ioannina, Sitia, Loutraki, Kavala and Amphilohia); the 30 waterways in the Cycladic Islands and the Dodecannese, for which the South Agean Regional Gocernor has taken responsibility (apart from Folegandros); the 5 waterways in Evia in collaboration with OLNE, where licensing procedures will be completed in the next few days and the waterways in Chios, Psarron and Inousa, where licensing procedures are moving forward again.
They also discussed the other Ionian Islands waterways (Zakynthos, Ithaki, Cephalonia, Lefkada and Meganisi) where licensing procedures are moving forward following initiatives from the Regional Administration and DEPAN.
Hellenic Seaplanes CEO Nikolas Haralambous made the following statement:
"With the clear, practical support of the present government, those involved in the hydroplane sector are in the happy position to see our goal becoming a reality - the operation of waterways and hydroplane flights very soon! The licensing procedure has been simplified and in one year, despite the difficulties with coronavirus, we have seen the interest in the establishment of waterways and hydroplane flights increasing! Good cooperation between the state, businesses and investors is the key to develop our collective efforts so that the waterway network can become a reality - making Greece the Maldives of Europe.."
Deputy Minister Yiannis Kefaloyiannis said:
"The waterway network is an investment opportunity of major significance for the Greek economy and the national transport infrastructure. The Government and Transport Ministry are the providing the necessary assistance to make the network a reality and will practically support the development of the hydroplane sector, which will provide another competitive alternative for public and tourist transport. The Greek islands are our priority and we aim to begin hydroplane flights throughout the country. With the development of the network our ports will also gain the ability to provide air connections."