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Ryanair flies domestic Greek route

Ryanair planes on the tarmac

Ryanair flies domestic Greek route.

Cheap flight airline Ryanair has launched it first domestic services in Greece between Chania in Crete and the mainland city of Thessaloniki. The low-cost airline said this could pave the way for more routes across Greece and the Greek islands if the government can accept terms.

The no frills airline has carried more than two million passengers on routes to and from Greece and the Greek islands over the past three years.

Ryanairis forecast to operate 85 routes from a total of 10 Greek airports this summer including new routes to the mainland city of Kalamata and to the holiday island of Zakynthos.

However Ryanair has run up against fierce opposition from some Greek regions who are unhappy with the cut-price deals that can undercut other airlines.

Airports like Athens have "refused to engage with Ryanair" which often wants to be paid by airport operators for landing there.

Ryanair has pointed out that passenger traffic through the main Athens airport has dropped 22% from the 16.4 million passengers that passed through the airport in 2008 and claim the cheap flight carrier could boost traffic and jobs if it can strike cut-price deals over landing fees and other costs.

Ryanair recently presented the Greek Transport Minister Kostas Chatzidakis with a 'tourism rescue package' that the airline claimed could grow Greek tourist traffic by 10 million passengers a year over the next three years.

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