Launch Of Helicopter Airline Will Make Island-Hopping In Greece Easier

Hoper now offers scheduled flights to 11 destinations, including exclusive locales such as Antiparos, Folegandros, Ios, Kea, Patmos, Sifnos, and Spetses
Oia town on Santorini island, GreecePHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

Greece provides a memorable experience with its beautiful beaches, islands, mountains, and diverse cuisine. From the stunning island of Skopelos with its scenic beaches and majestic mountains to the lively island of Skiathos and the charming village of Damouchari in the Pelion region, Greece offers a variety of island experiences. This summer, embark on seamless island-hopping adventures across Greece, made quicker and more accessible by Hoper, the country's pioneering helicopter airline. Hoper now offers scheduled flights to 11 destinations, including exclusive locales such as Antiparos, Folegandros, Ios, Kea, Patmos, Sifnos, and Spetses, with convenient connections through significant hubs like Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos.

The starting price for tickets is €160 ($172) for a one-way journey, but keep in mind that fares may increase due to high demand. For example, a flight from Athens to Tinos in mid-August costs €380 for a 42-minute trip, while a four-hour ferry ride costs €35.

A Faster Journey

The introduction of a new helicopter service will significantly reduce travel times. While the fastest ferry from Athens to Santorini takes over four hours, Hoper's helicopters cover the journey in just one hour. Demitris Memos, CEO of Hoper, stated, "We turn hours into minutes, giving travellers up to a full day of vacation."

Fishing boats in Kokkari port, Samos island, GreecePawel Kazmierczak/Shutterstock

Some luxury hotels, such as One&Only Kéa Island, provide helicopter transfers for an additional fee. Nevertheless, Hoper's scheduled flights offer a more cost-effective option. For instance, a private charter from Athens to Mykonos can cost €2,775 per seat in high season, whereas a family of four can fly with Hoper for approximately €1,490.

Introducing Hoper's helicopter service is expected to have a substantial impact on Greece's travel industry. According to Greece's Minister of Tourism, Olga Kefalogianni, this service represents a unique and unprecedented step in Greek tourism. It aims to enhance accessibility to the islands and potentially boost the country's tourism economy, which accounted for 18% of the nation's GDP in 2023. Kefalogianni warmly praised the service as a "unique step" for the country's tourism industry. However, it's important to note that ferries may still be more convenient in certain cases. In August, Hoper operates flights to Mykonos from Athens only three times a week, whereas there are four daily ferries during high season.

A Tourism Boom

Hoper's fleet comprises five Robinson R44 and R66 helicopters, each with three or four passenger seats, providing panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Departures are from Koropi, just a 10-minute drive from Athens International Airport, offering greater convenience than the 50-minute trip to the main ferry port, Piraeus. This helicopter service is being introduced when Greece is experiencing a tourism boom, with a record-breaking 2023 season attracting nearly 33 million visitors. Hoper aims to boost further the industry, which accounts for 18% of the GDP.

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