New air routes connecting China with the Athens International Airport are expected double passenger capacity, as major Chinese carriers announced the routes, while in one instance Aegean Airlines will partner with a Chinese airline.

Air China has initiated five flights from Beijing, with operations already underway, while Juneyao Airlines has commenced three flights from Shanghai, in partnership with Aegean Airlines. These joint efforts are propelling Chinese tourist arrivals to Greece to unprecedented levels and strengthening direct air links between Greece and China.

According to demographic data from Athens International Airport Chinese travelers predominantly travel for leisure. Specifically, in 2023, 72% of Chinese travelers undertook leisure trips, 17% for business, and 10% to visit friends and relatives.

Also, according to another study by the European Travel Commission (ETC) covering the first quarter of the current year, Greece ranks tenth among European countries, with 12% of Chinese travelers planning a visit to Europe preferring Greece. However, the inclination towards travel is more pronounced among citizens from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

During their visit to Greece, Chinese tourists typically stay for 12 days, of which they spend 4 in Athens. These are high-spending travelers, which holds significant importance for Greek tourism, given that a strategic goal of the Greek government is to attract tourists with substantial financial resources.

In 2019, Greece welcomed 300,000 round-trip Chinese arrivals. Last year, arrivals reached 90% of this figure, as stated by Athens International Airport CEO, Yiannis Paraschis. Projections for 2024 suggest surpassing the 2019 threshold.