Travel Expert Peter Vlitas speaks to TNH about Direct Flights from U.S. to Greece

Peter Vlitas, Senior Vice President of Airline Relations for Travel Leaders Group. CREDIT: Courtesy Travel Leaders Group

BOSTON – Norwegian Airlines, named by Skytrax in 2018 as the World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline and Value Airline of the Year, will introduce new nonstop service from New York to Athens, starting July 2, 2019 and running through October 26, 2019.

Peter Vlitas, a prominent member of the Greek-American Community who serves as the Senior Vice President of Airline Relations for Travel Leaders Group, was instrumental in the establishment of the direct service from JFK to Athens.

In a telephone interview with The National Herald he said that “Friday, February 15 is a historic day because the announcement was made for the direct service from New York to Athens by Norwegian.” Asked about his personal efforts, he said, “I did it to help Greece.”

Vlitas informed TNH that “the Athens flights from New York JFK will operate four times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with fares from $159.90 in Economy and $669.90 in Premium one way, including taxes. With Athens, Norwegian now offers 13 European nonstop destinations from the New York City area this summer.”

Vlitas said, “the airline keeps the ticket prices at a reasonable level. Flight Number 7996 will depart at 12:30 midnight and arrive in Athens at 4:40 in the afternoon of the next day.”

He also said, “I know how important it is for Greece to be able to move ahead from the crisis, to attract tourists, and create jobs.” He added, “it will be the first year after a long time that there will be seven flights daily going directly to Greece this summer.” He added that “Delta Airlines is going to put two big airplanes, Airbus 430s, in service for the summer until October. Also this year starting May 3 for the first time American Airlines will have two direct flights to Athens, one from Chicago and one from Philadelphia.”

Norwegian Aircraft that will be servicing the JFK/New York to Athens Greece routes.
(CREDIT media.us.norwegian.co/David Peacock)

Vlitas said, “the fact that the airlines are taking the initiative to fly to Greece means that they have trust in the market. They realize that it is a market that the Americans want to travel to, and that Greeks from Greece want to travel to the United States. Don’t forget that the aircrafts will be going to Greece full in July but they also should also be returning full. The cargo bays should be full as well with products from Greece.”

Vlitas sits on several airline advisory boards and is involved with numerous philanthropic activities within the Greek-American community.

Travel Leaders Group has over 40,000 travel agents working directly for the organization or under one of its brands.

Norwegian operates one of the world’s youngest and greenest fleets, and has been named the Most Fuel-Efficient Airline on Transatlantic Routes by the International Council on Clean Transportation twice. The new routes will feature Boeing 787 Dreamliners, offering a Premium and Economy cabin. Premium includes a dedicated check-in counter, fast track security, wide recliner seats with more legroom than any other airline’s premium economy, premium meals and select drinks, as well additional checked-in luggage and CashPoints. Premium Flex ticket holders can also enjoy lounge access.