Viking Hellas Airlines, the Greek airline associated with Viking Airlines AB of Sweden, is pleased to announce the launch of a new three-times weekly scheduled service from Manchester to Athens, Greece, with effect from 1st February 2010, with convenient onward connections to three Iraqi cities.
Passengers from Northern England are set to be served with a new direct service to Athens from Manchester. With fares starting from as little as £59 one-way, inclusive of taxes and charges, Greece has never been more accessible. Current flight routes to Athens from the North West require at least one change of aircraft with other European carriers. Viking Hellas has established agreements with Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines to provide convenient connections to their Athens flight networks. This provides passengers with the opportunity to connect in Athens to and from other Greek cities, the Greek Islands, the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Also on 1st February, Viking Hellas will commence weekly scheduled services from Athens to the cities of Erbil and Sulaymanyiah in the Ku rdish Government Region of Iraq and the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad. Flights are scheduled to provide seamless connections to and from Manchester services, providing passengers from the north of England with the fastest possible journey times between the north of England and Iraq. Fares from Manchester to Iraq, connecting in Athens, start from as little as £545 return, inclusive of taxes and charges.
Roger Gatt, Commercial Director of Viking Hellas, announced the services, commenting:
We are delighted to be launching our first scheduled services from Manchester and expect the Athens route to be a great success. Manchester Airport has welcomed our new services and they are supporting us as we prepare for launch. We also look forward to working with travel agents to improve travel options from the north of England to Greece and beyond.
There is considerable demand for Iraqi services from the UK due to the sizeable expatriate community that currently has very few options to return home; this new service is a lifeline for them. Viking Airlines AB has operated flights from Sweden to the country for a number of years without incident and we are pleased to be providing another option for travellers to Iraq.
Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airports Commercial Director said, Its great news that Viking Hellas Airlines are starting their first scheduled service from Manchester Airport, complementing the extensive Charter programme already operated. Athens is a strong destination with high year round demand. Viking Hellas will offer a variety of connections ranging from the Greek Islands to several points in Iraq thus giving the North West region an even greater choice.
Flights will operate from Manchester on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from Athens to Manchester on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Viking Hellas is planning to increase frequency to four flights weekly by adding a Tuesday departure from Manchester and a Wednesday departure from Athens with effect from March 2010.