ATHENS, April 12 (Reuters) - Grecian Air Seaplanes said on Monday it will launch seaplane flights in September, connecting islands to the mainland after the first seaports were licenced to operate after years of bureaucratic delays.
The company said it plans to start flights with three 19-seater seaplanes from seaports at the Ionian Sea in western Greece and gradually grow its fleet of aircraft.
With its polynesian geography and a 16,000 kilometre coastline, Greece is an ideal place for seaplane service. Operators can improve access to many holiday resorts and poorly connected islands, a potential boost to its tourism industry.
Grecian Air Seaplanes said its flights will fill a void, helping to connect islands to one another and to the mainland by air. Its business plan calls for a mixed fleet of owned and leased aircraft as the cost of a seaplane is about $7 million.
The company said it plans to grow the business as more seaports get licenced in the Cyclades, in Crete, the Sporades and Dodecannese islands and others in the northern Aegean Sea.
Grecian Air Seaplanes said its shareholders include the chairman of Greek Water Airports, a company that specialises in the design, construction and licencing of waterdromes, and AXIONAIR.
Seaplanes can complement other means of transport, including ferries and airline jets, and can also offer chartered flights, medical transport and cargo services. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
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