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Greece enforcing slots

I simply consider all this as not being welcome. If I am not welcome with my own plane I won’t come by airline either.

I wholeheartedly agree.

I wrote something similar a while ago and got some heat for it, but I see from this thread that the mood is turning against Greece.

I will not go there by private plane or any other means both because if the Fraport debacle, and because of the general Greek attitude towards the EU. I just won’t spend any money in that country.

I just came back from a great trip to Norway (which is kind of my home turf) via Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Last year I had a great trip to Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia. Those countries have enough to offer to keep me happy.

Italy is also off the list. But Portugal is back on!


Greece expects to receive 30 million (!) tourists in 2017, the highest number ever, mostly a dividend from the trouble in Northern Africa and Turkey. On that scale, it is completely irrelevant if 50 GA aircraft come on top of that or 500. The airports that handle CAT have no incentive to accommodate small GA. That makes any sort of lobbying rather difficult.

In my view, the biggest issue in Greek GA is the violation of the Schengen treaty, forcing everybody to land at airports that are not GA friendly. This is the one big thing that AOPA should deal with for foreign visitors. There is zero reason for this and there is absolutely nothing special about Greece that would justify forcing an aircraft coming from the EU/Schengen to undergo immigration procedures. If that went away, there would be an opportunity for places like Megara to attract GA visitors.

I have always found there are enough airports in Greece – basically all the bigger islands – that are ports of entry; avgas is the bigger issue.

But now with Syros having avgas but not PoE that changes the situation in the Aegean… yes schengen would be nice.

I think boycotting a country because it cooked its books for EU membership with everybody being aware of it but allowing it in the interests of “European integration”(and everything that followed from that, including the forced takeover of some assets by German interests) is just cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. I will leave it for others to google on these idioms

The biggest trouble right now is the mad charges. The actual crap treatment could happen anyway, anywhere. Spain, France, Italy, anywhere. I have had it all. Sitting for hours… I have drawn enough venom from locals for writing it up, but it’s real enough. Of course most GA flies to the same old watering holes which are known to work. Greece has usually been quite workable, greatly assisted by nobody there expecting any visitor to learn the local language and speaking fine English – something which is very not true for most southern Europe.

Look at Carcassonne in 2016. The airport basically told us to f-off, until Aviathor and Nestor very ably sorted it out in French and with the right “connections” being worked. One of our biggest turnouts, yet it was nearly cancelled. And when we got there and faced a duff avgas pump and having been told by ATC to f-off again, it was Nestor who made a phone call and immediately a man turned up. Last time I checked, Carcassonne was not in Greece…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

While Greek airports and strange rules really bothered me in the past (with exceptions like Megara, and partly LGIR) – i find it a bit over the top to boycott the country for these reasons.

If we used criteria like this, where could we go? GA is really such a small part of a society, even more so in Greece, and it’s a wonderful country with many advantages, with or without GA.

I think if i go to Crete again I’ll fly Dubrovnik-Heraklion direct. This way i can at least avoid Corfu, to me LGIR feels friendlier and more professional. And if it’s € 200 … well, i guess it’s worth the great flight.

A TB20 can do Mali Losinj to anywhere in Greece. In the past this gave enough options. But now most of those options are €200. Well, not Sitia, but that is at the far end so not ideal as the first stop.

Anyway, this is digressing off the topic of slots. What will matter is how this system works. Currently, it clearly doesn’t…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Sure, i can fly LDLO-LGIR in 4:25…. but i don’t fly over the Aegean Sea with little fuel.
No, this does not help the slot situation, but i guess i could handle that once a year.

In this discussion I hear different aircraft, options/requirements, and objectives. I think the EuroGA community is more diverse than many realize.

For Peter, in his TB20, there is a certain profile that has a different price acceptance than either a jet operator such as Jason, me a C172 driver that flies mostly VFR but can and will also make IFR trips but on a different budget, or a VLA that is primarily (exclusively?) VFR and has a preference for grass fields although paved airports are accepted for customs/fuel needs or a particularly interesting destination if the price is supportable in his/her eyes.

Jason’s price (and effort) threshold is certainly different from Peter’s or mine or the VLA flyer.

For this particular chain, Greece seems to only be interested in the top end, and as one goes down the chain the pain increases and the refusal increases. Off the cuff, my conclusion from the discussion is that Greece is only interested in Jason’s business and to a perhaps lesser degree Peter’s (pls generalize for all you Cirrus, C210, etc owners). For us Cessna C172 and VLA flyers, there are other places we will go rather than spend €100-200-300+ just for a fuel stop and/or customs. In any case, the effort & cost are reaching a level that one has to seriously question if the return on investment is worth it.

Last Edited by chflyer at 16 Jul 20:46
LSZK, Switzerland

Aviathor wrote:

I will not go there by private plane or any other means both because if the Fraport debacle, and because of the general Greek attitude towards the EU. I just won’t spend any money in that country.

Totally agree with your statements.

I will fly to the Caribbean via commercial airline rather than give a cent to those vampires.

Achim I dont care if Im only one out of 17 million. What I do know is that there will one less private plane flying into one of their islands. I stay with Slovenia and Croatia.

Girl friend would rather go to the Caribbean anyway during the winter.


I will definitly stay out of Greece flying GA, but I don’t see any reason not to go there by airline if there is a reason to it. I spent 10 wonderful days in Krete in May and would gladly do so again, flying in and out commercially. Frankly, Greece is a bit at the far end for most of our planes anyhow, it will take at least 2 days to get there and back for most non-long range planes and then facing all this nonsense makes Greece simply no longer viable as a destination. Slots, Fraport charges, opening hours from hell and back, as many here said, we are not welcome so we should take our business to where we are.

Yes, if they can finally be pursuaded to implement Schengen on their small airports, then this may help, even though it still won’t help when flying in from most of the avgas watering holes outside, neither Macedonia, Serbia nor Croatia are yet Schengen, only Italy and Slovenia are.

LSZH, Switzerland

One cannot generalise completely. For example you could fly Croatia to Sitia LGST, and then back. A really lovely destination, eastern Crete, and cheap.

What we need is more Sitia-type airports in Greece. The problem is that Fraport has skimmed off the lucrative ones, grabbing two key GA stopping points (Corfu and Samos) and the others are “getting ideas” on how to rip people off (see Emir’s post #27 above). When Sitia becomes a “€250 destination”, I will probably give up going to Greece. By that time, the great “welcome to Greece” guy who has been there since 1987, Dimitris, will have torn his remaining hair out, packed up his beehives, and gone home.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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