American Airlines celebrated the inaugural flight between Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport on Friday, May 3rd, marking the first non-stop flight between the two cities.
"New nonstop service to Athens and other exciting destinations are providing more reasons for travelers to choose Chicago-O’Hare than ever before," said Jamie L. Rhee, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation. "We thank American Airlines for investing to grow in Chicago with this historic service. This new flight strengthens the bond we share with our Sister City, Athens, and makes Chicago more accessible to travelers and businesses from around the world.”
The new Athens service will operate daily on 234-seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft for the season, from the inaugural flight through September 28th. Flights will depart Chicago-O’Hare at 5:35 p.m., arriving at Athens at 12:05 p.m. the next day. Inbound flights depart Athens at 2:15 p.m., and arrive at 6:00 p.m. the same day.
“As Chicago’s airline of choice, we are thrilled to inaugurate the city’s only nonstop service to the rich culture, history, and cuisine of Athens, Greece,” said Franco Tedeschi, American Airlines Vice President – Chicago. “The new route joins our schedule alongside a lineup of popular international destinations and it’s a celebrated addition for our customers, team members and the vibrant Greek community in Chicago.”
This announcement is indicative of the strong partnership between Chicago and Athens, which have shared a Sister City agreement since 1997. New flights to Athens will benefit over a dozen Chicago companies with a presence in Greece and supports the growing business and trade partnerships between Greece and Illinois, home to the third-largest Greek community in the U.S.
“American Airlines’ nonstop service to Chicago’s sister city of Athens will further strengthen the economic and cultural bond between Chicago and Greece,” said Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago. “It also further demonstrates why O’Hare has been named the most connected airport in the U.S.”
“It’s a great honor for me to join Minister Kountoura here as we celebrate the very first non-stop flight between Chicago and Athens. And while we’re at it, I want to join the Minister in also congratulating Giannis and the whole airport team on all the kudos that Athens International Airport continues to win,” said US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt.
“American Airlines is the world’s largest carrier, and this new Chicago-Athens route connects Greece’s capital to one of the world’s largest Greek diaspora communities. With this new route, it’s also going to be easier than ever for Greeks to reach the heart of the American Midwest, a city famous for its iconic skyline, its deep-dish pizza, and for the National Hellenic Museum in Greektown, the only major museum in the United States dedicated specifically to the Greek diaspora journey,” added the US Ambassador.
*Image courtesy of US Embassy in Athens