Tour operators continue to cancel flights to Greece
The flight program of Coral Travel – Moscow/Heraklion - is optimized: one of the five flight chains is removed (from July 19 to October 11) on Fridays. This was reported by a representative of the tour operator. “The reason is insufficient loading of boards. The operator suggested the agencies to book flights for neighboring dates,” explained Marina Makarkova, the head of the public relations department of Coral Travel. Earlier, the company completely canceled the flight programs from Moscow to another airport on Crete – Chania. Also, the chain from St. Petersburg to Rhodes was also canceled.
Other players of the destination also decreased their volumes. According to observers, by the beginning of this season, the volume of the declared transportation from Moscow to Heraklion corresponded to last year’s figures. But the first months of this summer showed that it was excessive. According to the press service of ANEX Tour, the company increased the share of tours based on regular flights to Crete and Rhodes. In turn, the volume of own transportation of the tour operator from the Russian capital to Crete declined compared to last year - from five to three flights per week. From Moscow to Rhodes, as in the past year, tourists are transported 2 times in seven days. Mouzenidis Travel tour operator, whose summer program 2018 to Heraklion was carried out twice a day, now performs one daily flight. The company's general director Alexander Tsandekidi explained that during the season, the operator had to increase the capacity of the boards, replacing Airbus A319 and Boeing 737 by Airbus A320, and put into operation additional boards for some popular dates. Also at the beginning of the season, the tour operator refused flights to Chania.
However, not all players chose such strategy. According to the head of Greek TEZ TOUR operator, Dimitris Haritidis, the company this year increased the flight program by 10%. According to his estimates, as a result, the company's market share on Crete increased to 15%, on Rhodes - up to 16%, and in the Peloponnese - up to 60%.
According to statistics from the airport of Heraklion, in the first half of the year the number of tourists from Russia fell by 20% compared with the figures for the same period of 2018. Experts explain this fact by increased competition between beach destinations on the Russian market, due to which some players redistributed their efforts towards Turkey. “The increased interest for high-level hotels 4* + and 5* was observed only during the early booking campaigns. Now the main percentage of bookings falls for 3-4* hotels,” ANEX Tour reported.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.