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Seaplane services set to launch

- by Dabs Banner

Zante island is the latest to give the green light.

The holiday island of Zante is the latest to sign up to secure regular seaplane services to other Greek Islands.

Greek company Hellenic Seaplanes has been given green light from the Zakynthos Port Fund to get a license that will allow it to construct a seaplane waterway from which to launch flights in the island's main port.

The company plans to launch several seaplane flights before next year's holiday season gets under way and create a network of waterways linking the Greek islands.

Hellenic Seaplanes is also talking to Greek port authorities at Sitia, Agios Nikolaos, Skopelos, Lesvos, Kalamata and Alonissos.

Hellenic Seaplanes boss Nikolas Charalambous said: "The creation of a waterways network and development of seaplane transport in Greece is now a fact and we will try to cover all destinations,"

The company recently got the go-ahead to build a seaplane waterway at the port of Volos on the mainland and it plans to launch seaplane flights from Volos next April.

An area of Volos port was earmarked as a seaplane base some years ago when Argo Airways tried to get seaplane services under way but became bogged down Greek bureaucracy and eventually ceased operations in Greece.

A recent relaxation in laws has simplified the seaplane licensing process and reignited interest in connecting all the Greek islands through a seaplane network of 100 waterways by the end of 2014.

Plans to run similar services in the Ionian are already well advanced with the first waterway set to operate from Corfu later this year.

Seaplane company Water Airports CA is expected to launch flights from Corfu in the near future with the licensing of waterways in Paxos, and Ereikoussa and Othonous on the Diapontia islands already in the pipeline.

According to reports, Water Airports will launch flights from Corfu to Othonous, Erikousa and Paxos with special flights for cruise passengers that want to see aerial views of Corfu.

The Halkida Port Authority has also expressed an interest in seaplane services to link Evia to the Sporades islands and Athens.