New data from the Greek research and policy institute for the tourism sector, INSETE, for the 2024 summer season showed air travel up by 8.4% from the same period last year, with the total number of booked air seats from March to October amounting to 27,025,200.

According to INSETE’s Air Data Tracker system, China reported a whopping 276.8% increase in booked air seats to Greece (from 19,197 in 2023 to 72,328 in 2024), assisted by the new air connections to the Mediterranean country from Air China and Juneyao Air.

Bahrain also demonstrated an impressive 70.3% increase with 63,668 air seats booked for this summer season compared to 37,376 last year.

In regards to the top 15 countries with the most tourist flow to Greece this year, the UK takes the lead with 5,484,349 booked air seats, a 5.70% increase from 2023. Next are Germany with 4,612,327 seats, Italy with 2,419,035 seats, France with 1,783,934 seats, and the Netherlands with 1,153,312 seats to complete the top five.

Countries within the aforementioned list that recorded the highest percentage increase in booked air seats to Greece were the US (25.30%), the Czech Republic (51.50%), Turkey (16,40%), Poland (14.30%), and Switzerland (13.90%).

A notable, albeit understandable, 21.60% decrease in air seats from Israel was also recorded, falling to 893,212 from 1 million seats in 2023.

Airports in Greece

Athens International Airport recorded the highest number of scheduled seats this year with 9,240,017 bookings. Heraklion Airport in Crete is next with 3,743,165 seats, Rhodes with 2,878,009 seats, Corfu with 2,189,010 seats, and Thessaloniki with 2,021,347 seats.

Greek airports with the highest percentage increase in arrivals are those in Araxos (31.3%), Mytilene (29.4%), Kalamata (25.80%), Athens (13.80% ), Zakynthos (12.30%), Corfu (11.60%), and Chania (10.20%).

On the other hand, Thessaloniki recorded a 3% decrease from last year, while percentage decreases were also noted at the airports of Santorini (-1.80%), Mykonos (-10.10%), Kefalonia (-1.50%), and Aktion (-6.30%).