After two years of unprecedented imprisonment, alienation, social restrictions, the Greeks, “liberated”, will spend Easter in the countryside or on the wonderful Greek islands. This desire was not affected by high fuel prices for cars, nor by rising prices for ferries, trains and intercity buses, and even aircraft.
This year the wave of departures began with Holy Wednesday, and every day it is gaining momentum. At the same time, there is a high load on KTEL ferries, planes and buses.
In particular, the occupancy of KTEL Kifissos and Liossia buses has reached 100% since yesterday and is expected to remain at this level until tomorrow, Holy Saturday. According to the president of the Panhellenic Federation of Intercity KTELs, Sophocles Fazios, traffic data, compared to pre-coronavirus levels, increased by 30-35% in the KTELs of Kifissos and Liosia.
Several routes, such as those from Athens to the prefectures of Peloponnese and Epirus, show an increase of up to 50% compared to 2019. Intense traffic is also observed on Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Thessaly and Thessaloniki. Reserve buses were introduced both yesterday and today to meet the surge in demand. There is also a significant increase in sending parcels to Athens via KTEL, including food and gifts.
TRAINOSE trains run on the Athens – Thessaloniki route with close to 100% occupancy. To alleviate the increased demand, from yesterday until Good Saturday, it was planned to increase the capacity of InterCity trains by adding an additional car.
Significant traffic is also being seen at airports across the country, with Aegean Airlines reporting that occupancy reached 100% yesterday, a pattern that continues today. On Maundy Monday, 11,200 passengers departed, up from 3,200 last year, and on Maundy Tuesday, the number increased to 13,000, up from 3,000 last year. International destinations such as Cyprus, England, France and Germany are in high demand with travelers, with flights leaving at 85% full. It is noted, however, that there are 20% fewer empty seats than at Easter 2019, while passenger traffic is already approaching the indicators of the summer of the pre-pandemic season.
Airport El. Venizelos “will serve today 130 arrivals and 136 departures of aircraft, on Good Saturday 120 arrivals and 122 departures, on Easter Sunday 112 departures and 108 arrivals, on Easter Monday 107 arrivals and 110 departures. Traffic is expected to peak on Tuesday, with 140 arrivals and 131 departures scheduled from Athens International Airport.
Traffic on motorways increased by about 9% compared to 2019, while rising fuel prices affected car exits. In particular, 18,632 vehicles passed through the Afidnes toll in the direction of Lamia until yesterday afternoon, compared to 14,509 the day before yesterday, 11,685 on Maundy Tuesday and 11,025 on Maundy Monday in the same hours (6:00-13:00). From last Friday to Maundy Thursday, 206,600 vehicles passed through the Eleusis toll, an increase of 6.8%.
Finally, there has been an increase in traffic at the port of Piraeus, with data showing four times as many people this year as in 2019.