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Minoan Air

Another option for domestic flights in Greece

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While the bigger airlines, Aegean and Olympic are merging, or attempting to, Greece is seeing smaller airlines emerging to serve some of the major islands. Crete has Sky Express, which has been offering smaller-plane flights to a number of destinations in Greece, and also managed to seize some subsidized service routes. Now there is a new plane on the tarmac, Minoan Air, which started operating out of Heraklion Airport in June 2012 with a fleet of four 50-seat turboprop Fokker-50.

The airline has been offering regularly scheduled flights from Heraklion to Santorini, Kos, Mytilini (on the island of Lesbos) and Rhodes, but also is providing charter flights as well. Over the holiday period in December 2012 and early January 2013, they were also offering flights between Thessaloniki and Heraklion and out of Thessaloniki to and from Kos. It now describes its Greek flights as "seasonal", ending in January 2013, and at this time, it is not clear if they will be resuming these flights within Greece for the rest of 2013.

In addition to their Greek operations, Minoan Air has also started up in Britain, operating out of Oxford, providing flights within the U.K., including Scotland, and Ireland. They also note that they are providing some charter flights in Sweden. In Spring 2013, the airline will also be offering some scheduled flights out of Lugano Airport in Italy, traveling to Rome and also to Vienna, Austria.

While they are expanding their fleet to six planes in 2013, it's hard to see how they will continue to cover their Greek destinations while simultaneously operating in Britain and, as of Spring 2013, in Italy; they are not providing flights from Britain to Greece or from Italy to Greece.

As of this writing, the published schedule for Minoan Air only includes the flights out of Oxford to Edinburgh and Dublin, starting in early March and continuing into late October, 2013.

Travelers may be surprised that the aircraft are turboprops, not jets. On the relatively short distances traveled, the slower speeds have a relatively small impact on how long the flights take, usually extending flight time by about a third of the time that an equivalent jet aircraft would take over the same route. On shorter hops, such as the flights from Crete to Santorini, the effect is miniscule. You can see pictures of the planes on the Minoan Air Fleet page.

Minoan Air
Homepage: Minoan Air
General Email: info@minoanair.com
Address: St. Kazantzidi Avenue and Vosporou 1
Nea Alikarnassos, 71601
Heraklion, Crete, Greece

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