Browsed by
Category: Uncategorized

Is my flight on a MAX?

Is my flight on a MAX?

Following the two catastrophic and so far unexplained plane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that involved brand new Boeing 737 MAX8 aircraft, some people have told me they are concerned that they may be booked to fly on one on their next trip to Rhodes or Kos.

At the time of writing, the following airlines that have flights to Rhodes and Kos in summer 2019 have already taken delivery of MAX8 or the similar but slightly longer MAX9:

Smartwings

Norwegian (but they have voluntarily withdrawn the fleet from service and will use the older and well-proved Boeing 737-800 instead)

Enter Air (planes grounded by Polish national aviation authority decision)

TUI Group (Belgium, Netherlands, Nordic) (TUI UK will not be able to use theirs as the UK has banned MAX8/9 from UK airspace)UPDATE – TUI group has voluntarily grounded all MAX planes.

S7

Corendon (their one plane is not in passenger service yet).

 

Now all these airlines also have other versions of the Boeing 737 that have a long and safe history, so it isn’t always clear which version they intend to use. The pressure of public and professional opinion seems to be increasing on airlines and national aviation authorities to remove the MAX8 and MAX9 from service until it becomes clear what caused the two crashes, and effective action is taken to resolve any design or training issues involved.

Already the planes are banned in Australia, and a combination of voluntary grounding and national aviation authority action has effectively removed them from South American, Asian and African skies. The UK banned them from its airports and airspace about an hour ago, and now Germany (plus France, Belgium, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Ireland) has followed suit. This effectively means that the plane can only reach the Dodecanese from East/Central Europe or the Middle East, and it is strongly rumoured that the whole of Europe will ban MAX planes in a few hours time

Situation is now simple. The 737MAX is now banned from all European airspace, so cannot be used on flights to Greece from anywhere.

 

Getting to Symi – summer ferries

Getting to Symi – summer ferries

Travellers to Symi normally arrive by ferry (unless you’re well heeled enough to afford a yacht or a helicopter). Here is a first attempt at the summer combined ferry timetable. At this stage we don’t know if ANES will operate any kind of ferry service to Symi in 2019 or not, so for the benefit of those wanting to book accommodation I’ve based the timetable just on those published by Blue Star Ferries and Dodekanisos Seaways. The published timetables are confusing for October and I expect corrections to be made, so there’s no point in adding to the confusion yet.

May 2019

June to September 2019

Getting to Symi 2019 – Switzerland

Getting to Symi 2019 – Switzerland

Here’s the flight schedule from Switzerland to Rhodes and Kos for summer 2019. It’s important to note that while the German arm of Germania has gone bankrupt, the Swiss arm (Germania Flug) has not and is still trading, so their flights for summer from Zurich are included here.

Flights from Switzerland

Flights from France

Flights from Germany

Flights from the UK

Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg

Getting to Symi 2019 – Germany (and updates for UK)

Getting to Symi 2019 – Germany (and updates for UK)

This post includes the 2019 flight timetables for services from Germany to Rhodes and Kos. It is another year of big changes, mostly thanks to the demise of Germania earlier this year. Turkish company Corendon (which has an EU-registered airline based in Amsterdam in its group) and German charter airline Sundair have filled a lot of the gaps, but airports like Erfurt and Friedrichshafen no longer have flights to Rhodes this year.

We also have the first update for flights from the UK, with extra flights from Bristol and East Midlands.

Flights from Germany

Flights from the UK

Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg

 

Summer ferries 2019

Summer ferries 2019

We now have Dodekanisos Seaways timings available up to the end of SeptemberOctober, along with Blue Star to the end of October, which was released earlier.

I haven’t produced my usual summary timetables yet, because ANES are only just beginning to wake from their hibernation and start revealing summer timetables. They haven’t got round to Symi yet, that’s if they intend to. It is certainly the case that they’ve applied for permission to use Sebeco in the Piraeus-Aegina area between November 2019 and October 2020. What they intend to do with her this summer remains to be seen, she’s moored up in Rhodes at the moment.

Symi II will operate as a day excursion boat for Sea Dreams again this summer, (no one-way tickets sold, no baggage carried), and Symi is expected to be in the Sporades again along with Proteus. The Proteus timetable is out, as yet Symi’s times are unknown.
Change of plan already – Symi II is back to the Sporades, and the timetable is published. Symi will return to her plodding up and down between Rhodes, Symi, and Panormitis instead, from 15 May onwards – for Sea Dreams, of course, and with no one-way or period return tickets available.

Germania goes bust (and other airlines are struggling)!

Germania goes bust (and other airlines are struggling)!

Yesterday was the last day of operation for the airline Germania, which for many years has been providing summer flights between German regional airports and holiday destinations such as Rhodes and Kos. This was foreseen and late last year I gave the uncertainty over Germania as my reason for delaying the publication of the flight tables for summer 2019 between Germany and Rhodes.

If anyone has booked despite this, I’m afraid there is no compensation, and only a place in the very long queue of creditors, unless it was as part of a package holiday, in which case the holiday company is responsible for arranging alternative flights.

Note that Germania Flug, the Swiss arm of Germania, is still flying as a separate company.

It really isn’t a good time for airlines – even Ryanair has reported a small trading loss, while Iceland’s WOW Air has made massive cutbacks to its operations, Turkmenistan Airlines has been banned from operating into the EU on safety grounds, and Norwegian is cutting back on its short-haul flights to reduce the number of planes used. The surplus planes this produces will then be sold to reduce debt.

Early April ferries

Early April ferries

We already have Blue Star’s timetable for the whole year up to the end of October. Yesterday Dodekanisos Seaways released their first batch of ferry timetables for the period after 31 March. These cover days up to 21 April 2019.

As usual services build up slowly. In the first week things remain much as in the winter, except that the Wednesday Rhodes-Agathonisi (via Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros and Lipsi) and return reappears. In the second and third weeks both catamarans are in service, and Symi gets daily 08:30 ferries as part of the traditional Patmos or Agathonisi journeys (with afternoon return sailings). At weekends there are also Rhodes-Panormitis-Symi-Rhodes sailings.

 

Now we  wait for the build up to Greek Easter in the week starting 22 April, followed by the May timetables and onwards.