BOSTON – With a direct flight between the cities resuming for the first time in 25 years, Boston – long known as the Athens of America – will become a twin cities with its Greek counterpart, touching on their symbolic ties.
Boston is home to the United States’ most famed marathon and where Cypriot Stylianos Kyriakides won the 50th anniversary race in 1946 in a bid to draw attention to his starving country in the aftermath of World War II.
In a visit, Athens Kostas Bakoyannis said the Twin Cities approach is also designed to promote tourism cooperation with the Boston area a major hub of the Greek-American community in the United States and home to major high-technology companies and businesses of the type Greece wants to lure.
He met Mayor Michelle Wu and said that, “Athens and Boston are linked with a strong tradition, which is a reminder of our common principles and values,” Bakoyannis said, reported Kathimerini.
“The twinning will create a new, modern and solid bridge of cooperation which will also contribute to the strengthening of economic ties with a positive impact on tourism,” he said, adding:“Athens can offer unique experiences to American travelers,” Greece reaching out during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic now.
The agreement anticipates a series of joint actions and initiatives to promote Athens as a tourist destination with Greece’s former flagship carrier Olympic Airlines more than two decades ago ending direct flights.
Delta Air Lines presented the new direct flight during an event held at the Consulate General of Greece in Boston, the airline having had spring-autumn direct flights from New York as well.
Consul General Stratos Efthimiou said the direct flights from Boston mean that, the “private sector… ultimately realized that this long-standing request by our Diaspora in Boston presented a viable business opportunity at a time when Greece is emerging as a leading international travel destination.”
“I wish every success for this flight, which will make it easier for our expatriates to travel to our homeland and will bring high-income tourists to Greece,” he said.
Bakoyannis attended a ceremony at which he presented four gilded olive branch wreaths from Greece to the Boston Athletic Association. The wreaths were used to crown the winners of the 126th running of the Boston Marathon.
“I am honored to present these four gold wreaths, cut from the plains of Marathon, as a gift from Greece. These wreaths connect Athens with the Boston Marathon and the ideals of democracy and peace,” he said.
Bakoyannis also invited Wu to visit the Greek capital during the 39th Authentic Marathon in November but it wasn’t said if she would come then.