Greek startup airline plans to link Athens to Aegean islands with helicopters 

hoper

A new helicopter operator has launched in Greece offering scheduled flights between Athens and several islands in the Aegean Sea. 

This new startup, called hoper, is the project of a group of Greek entrepreneurs intent on providing a faster way to reach tourist gateways such as Antiparos, Folegandros, Ios, Kea, Mykonos, Santorini, Sifnos, Spetses and Tinos. 

While some of these places, namely tourist hotspots Mykonos and Santorini, have a fair number of air links, others are almost entirely reliant on much slower ferries for connectivity. 

hoper

hoper plans to cut travel times by running scheduled flights at set times, just like a regular airline, and at prices that will be a fraction of the cost of chartering a helicopter. 

For this purpose, hoper’s founders acquired an existing helicopter operator, which until now offered charter flights on a single Robinson helicopter. The startup also added four more rotorcrafts, all of them Robinson R44 and R66s.  

hoper’s main base is located close to Athens International Airport (ATH), with secondary bases in Mykonos and Santorini.  

With prices oscillating between €160 and €400 per person per ride (the Robinson R44 can carry three passengers and the R66, four), hoper is not a budget service. But it provides a cheaper alternative to on-demand rotorcraft operators, which often fetch between €2,500 to €3,000 for the ride between Athens and Mykonos. 

hoper

“The last couple of years he high end of the tourism market has really exploded in Greece, with luxury resort chains such as One & Only and Four Seasons opening new properties on the islands,” Dimitris Kossyfas, hoper’s Chief Commercial Officer, explained to AeroTime.  

Kossyfas added that, since the start of operations in May 2024, hoper has also seen a fair share of business customers. 

“We’ve got people from the real estate world, investors…people that want to skip the slow ferry rides,” he added. 

hoper is also planning to operate year-round, albeit with a reduced frequency. Kossyfas explained that the new batch of destinations will be added in the winter season, including some ski resorts in mainland Greece. 

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