Emirates Airlines, based in the United Arab Emirates, plans to restart flights between the United States and Greece on June 1, 2021.
This is the second major announcement regarding the restarting of flights in the new year, with American Airlines stating earlier in February that it would begin serving Athens again as of June 3.
However, the Emirates aircraft will be the only carrier which will offer first-class service along the route.
The Emirates announcement came as airline companies look toward the future in restarting their routes, with the UAE company pledging to restart its Newark to Athens service. This is the same route taken by United Airlines, although the Emirates flights had previously been year-round; all others had been seasonal.
The Newark-Athens flight actually connects to Dubai, for those who are interested in going on to the Middle East.
The flights will employ the same Boeing 777-300ER aircraft as they had used previously. The first-class cabin will be the same as used during the previous operation of the route.
Flights will Depart Athens at 5:35 PM and arrive in Newark at 8 PM the same day; they will Depart Newark at 11:55 PM and arrive in Athens at 4:05 PM on the next day.
American Airlines announced that they will launch a new service for the summer 2021 season from Athens to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York, starting June 3.
Flights on a Boeing 777-200 are now available for booking.
The Fort Worth, Texas -based carrier announced that it will start flying a seasonal daily flight to Athens that will operate seasonally through October 30.
“We are looking forward to launching our new route between New York and Athens, which will offer enhanced connectivity between these two great cities,” said Tom Lattig, Vice President of EMEA Sales and Distribution at American Airlines.
“The safety and comfort of our customers and team is always our top priority and we look forward to serving our customers on this popular business and leisure route,” he said.
Other options for vacationing in Greece in 2021
Flights to Athens will likely be popular among those looking to vacation in Greece once more.
In Summer 2021, Delta is slated to fly two daily nonstop JFK to Athens flights, while United will fly once daily from Newark along with the Emirates flight, according to Cirium schedules.
Of course, timetables could change depending on vaccine rollout and worldwide COVID-19 case counts.
For its part, American flew once-daily seasonal service to Athens from Chicago (ORD) and Philadelphia (PHL) before the pandemic, and it remains to be seen if either of those will return, in addition to the new JFK flight, as demand recovers.
On May 6, 2021, American will also take off for Tel Aviv, Israel once again, marking the carrier’s return to Israel. It last operated a nonstop flight there in 2016, from Philadelphia (PHL).
Both new long-haul JFK flights will be featuring 37 seats in fully flat business class, 24 premium economy recliners, 66 extra-legroom main cabin extra seats and 146 standard coach seats.
Wi-Fi and seat-back entertainment will be available on all flights.
American and JetBlue are also working together to provide flights and both promised to boost connectivity in the region, with a focus on Boston and New York. JetBlue will provide much of the domestic connectivity to American’s international routes from the area.
American Airlines is the world’s largest airline when measured by fleet size, scheduled passengers carried, and revenue passenger mile.
Before the pandemic, the airline handled more than 200 million passengers annually with an average of more than 500,000 passengers daily. As of 2019, the company employed nearly 130,000 people.