A bill of the Ministry of Development is deposited today in the Greek Parliament for the return of hydroplanes in Greece. Seven years after the first attempt to introduce seaplane services in Greece, it appears that sea-borne aircraft will soon get a second chance in our country.
It was summer 2005 when the Canadian company AirSea Lines started the original effort, flowing mostly to destinations in the Ionian Sea. The flights would link the Ionian islands with Patra, Ioannina and Volos in mainland Greece as well as Brindisi in Italy. Hydroplane flights in the Aegean Sea started in May 2009 but stopped in August that year, after serious problems. The company had to deal with bureaucratic issues, the unfulfilled promise of the Greek government that sea runways would be created and the legal wrath of Olympic Airlines, which was a state company back then.
According to AirSea Lines representative, another issue was the company's base in the port of Lavrion. The inconvenient location, the pricey transport for passengers and the strong summer winds of the region were inhibitory factors for the continuation of flights in the Aegean Sea.
Recently, the Greek Development Minister expressed interest to the Canadian ambassador for the return of seaplane services in Greece, as soon as legislative and practical issues are solved.