Kefalonian Flights

Sunday, 16th February 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We frequently get comments from our our customers that they are finding it difficult to find reasonably priced flights. In this post, I will explain to you, our valued guests, why this has historically been the case, how this is changing and how to find the best prices.

Why has this been the case?

Tourism developed in Kefalonia far later than the other Ionian Islands, namely Corfu and Zante (Zakynthos). This was primarily one of the effects of the 1953 Earthquake, as many people left the island to go abroad to make money to help their families during the post earthquake period. This meant that tourism developed far later, only really in the 90′s. If you compare arrival statistics, Corfu, Zante, and Kefalonia, have almost 1,000,000, 500,000 and 180,000 arriving at their airports respectively each year. Considering Kefalonia is physically the largest of these three islands it becomes apparent that Kefalonia’s historical events have played a major role in how it has developed as a destination.

Coupled with this, the local population is relatively small (between 30,000 and 40,000 inhabitants), so there was not a large need for a large number of domestic flight routes. Based on these factors tourism originally developed with the help of tour operators who had their own fleets of aircraft that they could charter on a route directly to the island from UK (and European) based airports for the Summer Season. Demand for flight seats has historically been high relative to the capacity available.

How is this changing?

As tourism has continued to develop on the island, a number of new properties have become available to rent, this has increased the popularity of Kefalonia and the island now has a wide variety of tourists from all over Europe that come to visit it every year. Recent years has seen the genesis of the Low Cost Carrier, infamously EasyJet and Ryanair. As traffic increased to the island, they took note and now there are a number of these flights flying to the island during the season every week.

This has increased the capacity of seats to the island but demand to visit beautiful Kefalonia has grown at a much faster pace! Therefore, although we have almost 70 flights a week to the island, the planes are still relatively full, especially in the peak months of July and August.

This compounded by the fact that the domestic route via Athens, is still a small twin-prop Bombardier, has meant that demand far outweighs the supply of seats to the island.

It goes without saying that the additional routes put on to the airport have helped somewhat. It was also recently announced that now some of the domestic routes within Greece will be run by Ryanair, so this should make connections within Greece considerably easier and cheaper.

How to find the cheapest prices?

Unfortunately, there is no secret formula here. The fact still remains that the best way to ensure cheaper tickets is to book early. In some cases, if you know which dates you will have available to travel on, it may be better to secure the flights in advance and then shop around for accommodation afterwards.

Due to the demand to the island, the airlines usually fill up their flights and so any remaining last minute seats are relatively expensive. It is very rarely the case that flight prices have dropped if customers have left the booking to the last minute.

Although in the future, the total number of flights to the island is sure to increase, in the short term this will not have an effect on the prices for this year. Our advice is, where possible, book early to avoid disappointment!

For a list of airlines that are flying to Kefalonia, you can visit our FAQ.

Regards

The Unique Villas Team