12:09:2009 - 16:09 EEST
  • News in English
    The committee meetings (the corresponding permanent parliamentary committees of the Hellenic Parliament) of the 2009 Youth Parliament came to a close with speeches by many “young parliamentarians” in committees including National Defense and Foreign Affairs, Economy, Trade and Production, Public Administration, Public Order, Justice that were chaired by parliamentarians from all political parties.
  • News in English
    Optimism about the future prevailed at the Greek Parliament during a celebration party for the Youth Parliament. Welcoming the 300 young people from Greece, Cyprus and the Diaspora, Parliamentary Speaker Dimitris Sioufas expressed the hope that they were enjoying their morning sessions and the sightseeing tours.
  • News in English
    The Union of Greek American Travel Agents (GATA) is expressing concerns over the fate of approximately 1500 Olympic Airlines passengers who have return tickets dated after September 30th, the date the airline is set to conduct its final flights.
  • News in English
    The state government of Victoria is placing under her auspices the Pan-Hellenic Athletic and Cultural Games being organized by the Council for Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Oceania in Melbourne in November and in addition will donate the sum of $35,000 to assist the event.
  • News in English
    Thirty two businesses from Cyprus will participate at this years International Food and Beverage Exhibit that will take place in Sydney from 7-10 September. The city will be visited by representatives of Cypriot businesses in order to promote their productions and to seek possible importers for the Cypriot products.




1500 expatriate Olympic passengers “up in air”
Συντάχθηκε απο τον/την Μπάμπης Παπαδάκης   
The Union of Greek American Travel Agents (GATA) is expressing concerns over the fate of approximately 1500 Olympic Airlines passengers who have return tickets dated after September 30th, the date the airline is set to conduct its final flights. As the current situation is, the manner of return of these passengers remains unknown, after Olympic Airlines was sold in March to Marfin Investment Group (MIG). Despite the fact that the New Olympic has not yet unveiled its plans, it is considered certain that it will discontinue the Athens-New York route as it did with the flights to Canada and Australia.
According to “Greek News” newspaper, both passengers and travel agents (who are recipients of thousand of frantic calls by passengers inquiring about their returns) notes that they have not been notified as to how the passengers will return, while at the same time, Olympic’s information hotline in Athens, has not been answering calls for days, In the US, despite the addition of 50 extra Olympic staff members, they are also unable to provide information about the passengers returns. According to international agreements, in the event of an airlines discontinuation of flights or services, they are obligated to secure return trips to ticket-holding passengers.
The Union of Greek American Travel Agents (GATA) met last week in NY where it was decided for the formation of a committee to meet with the airline and other officials, aimed at finding a solution to the problem. In was also decided a press conference be held on Thursday to all the members of the diaspora mass media in order to publicize this serious issue.
According to a GATA member, information concerning a code-sharing plan between the New Olympic and Delta airlines for the Athens-New York route has not been verified. It also appears that not even the “old” Olympic had reached an agreement with DELTA in securing the 1500 passengers return.
Demarches that have been made to Greek consular authorities in the US as well as to efforts for communication with the New Olympic (via Greek News) have been fruitless.
Problems are also being faced by members of Olympic’s ICARUS club, (frequent flier program). The members were informed in a letter in May that they had to utilize their free miles by September 30th (when the airline will discontinue the flights) otherwise they would lose their free miles.
At the same time, most passengers who attempted to make use of their free miles during the summer were unable to do so, since the airline only offers them if there is seating availability. In the US, a free economy class ticket requires 80 thousand miles, while the average route in Europe is 17,500 miles. In communication with the airline in mid-August, it was noted that seating was available for the Athens-NY route only after September 24th, in other words, just for one week. At the same time, in efforts to communicate with the ICARUS program via e-mail, phone of fax, there was no response.

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