Hellenic Star Airways have launched a new regular air service with four flights a week between Paros and Athens that has been running since mid-June (see back page for complete timetable). However, Yiannis Apostolou of Bizas Holidays Travel - their agent on Paros - tells us that despite extensive advertising, at the moment the capacity is still only 60-70% from Paros to Athens and that bookings Athens-Paros are very low.
Having recently taken an Hellenic Star flight, I was amazed to find that there were only seven passengers on the 50-seater plane! Considering the number of complaints I hear regularly about the "lousy air service" to the island, the fact that the Olympic flights are usually sold out weeks in advance and that we are in the height of the tourist season, this seems quite extraordinary. But in case news that this service was available has somehow passed you by, here's what you need to know:
You can book locally at Bizas Holidays Travel (02840-24616) or else from abroad via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (02840-23257). They will need either a credit card number or you can transfer funds through Western Union. The ticket can be collected at the Hellenic Star desk (desk no. 107) at Athens (Venizelos) airport one hour before the flight. Alternatively, you can book through your own travel agency on Paros or via Hellenic Star reservations in Athens on 010-9622800.
As this is not a charter service, it is intended for the flights to continue year-round - a vital link for us in the winter months when the weather often prevents ferries from sailing. However, it obviously needs to be economically viable, so if we want the service to continue, or for more flights to be added, it is really up to us to support and promote it.