Sky Express is dynamic in Thessaloniki: The 8 + 2 destinations of “Macedonia”

By | May 11, 2023


Thessaloniki is directly connected to nine destinations in Greece and one in Cyprus by the airline SKY Express, which in relation to 2019 has managed to increase its passenger traffic in Thessaloniki by more than 17 times and from the 30,000 passengers it had then carried 600,000 passengers on last year.

Since its creation in 2005, the airline that belongs to the IOGR group has been in constant development and has not stopped even in the midst of a pandemic. Its growth is also reflected in the increase in its fleet, which in the next period will increase to 23 aircraft with a commitment of 30 new aircraft by 2025.

The foregoing was highlighted during an act held on Monday night in a restaurant in the eastern part of the city.

Connections from Thessaloniki

Particularly, as mentioned by Mr. Gerasimos Skaltsas Commercial Director of SKY Express, from Thessaloniki there are six daily frequencies to Athens, one daily frequency to Heraklion, while the company also flies directly to Corfu, Mytilini, Samos, Skyros, Chios and Larnaca and summer flights to Paros and Mykonos (the two routes will start in June to September). At the same time, through Athens it connects Thessaloniki with a total of 34 destinations in Greece and another 8 abroad.

Snapshot of yesterday’s event in Thessaloniki

Also, from the north of Greece, the company flies daily with 2-3 routes from Alexandroupoli to Athens, while it also has some weekly routes from Kozani and Kastoria to Athens.

“Our goal is to continue our dynamic growth, to keep adding seats and flights,” emphasized Mr. Skaltsas.

He presented data according to which the company’s share in Thessaloniki in 2019 was only 1.5% and two years later “we have succeeded and won the city and increased our percentages to 30%”, said Mr Skaltsas, noting that this would not be possible without collaborations with city agencies and travel agencies.

Further development in 2023

“In 2023, we will grow even more than the 64,000 seats in 2019, we will increase our capacity fifteen times, offering 1 million seats to and from Thessaloniki,” Mr. Skaltsas added. The company has a total of 400 employees in Thessaloniki, together with the group’s sister ground handling company Skyserv. A SKY Express aircraft is permanently based at the “Macedonia” airport, while the company has permanent cabin and cabin crew in Thessaloniki, while since September it has also invested in setting up a call center in the city, in which human resources have increased lately.

“Fastest growing company in Europe” – New international destinations

Mr. Skaltsas referred to the figures on the general course of SKY Express in the last three years. In particular, compared to 2019, the last year before the pandemic, the company increased its flights by 50%. At the same time, it tripled its passenger traffic, reaching 3.5 million, and more than tripled its revenue, exceeding 260 million euros. He highlighted the group’s continuous investments in new jobs. In 2022 it had 620 employees, the result of the 390 contracts made during the pandemic. The first quarter of 2023 has increased flights by 11% compared to the same period last year, while passengers have increased by 50%. At the same time, there is an increase in the company’s revenues by 73%, approaching 50 million in the first quarter.

“The growth is reflected in the numbers that ranked us last year as the fastest growing company in Europe,” he added, as it grew 66%, when the next airline had growth of 14%.

Mr. Skaltsas also spoke about extroversion and the incorporation of new international destinations. “Having spread wings in major European cities, next summer we will have an international network made up of 29 international destinations,” he said.

new planes

Next, Mr. Skaltsas spoke about the company’s new fleet. “We connect Thessaloniki with the main markets with a new ecological fleet that is also silent,” he said. In particular, in the last 2 years SKY Express has made one of the largest investments made in the aviation field worldwide, modernizing its fleet with 8 new A320neo and one A320ceo, as well as six new ATR72-600 (which replaced an equal number of previous generation aircraft). Last month it celebrated the entry of a new 321neo and in the coming weeks the second is expected, so the total fleet will increase to 23 aircraft. He also stated that the company’s commitment is to increase its fleet to 30 new aircraft by 2025.

With the addition of the new aircraft to its fleet, the company will reinforce the frequencies from Thessaloniki and will also add new international destinations in a first phase from Athens. It should be noted that in the winter of 2022/23 it had flights to Paris, London, Brussels, Milan, Rome, Munich, Sofia and Larnaca.

As to when direct flights from Thessaloniki abroad will be added, Mr. Skaltsas stressed that you need to get a solid foundation first as the company’s goal is to be able to support you 100% with every flight you add. Finally, he mentioned that the company is competitive in terms of fares, while offering the possibility of traveling with hand luggage and personal items and offers free snacks and drinks on all flights.

The businessman Mr. Ioannis Grilos, founder and president of the IOGR group Speaking to reporters, he stressed that the company was buying planes and growing during the pandemic.

The event was attended by the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tziziostas, the Deputy Regional Governor for Tourism, Alexandros Thanos, the Deputy Mayor for Tourism of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Ms. Maria Karagianni, representatives of production and tourism agencies, partners of the company , etc.

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