|SkyGreece Airlines likely to suspend all operations|
Services between Toronto and Zagreb are likely to be terminated as operator SkyGreece Airlines begins cancelling flights, with rumours circulating the carrier will suspend all operations. SkyGreece Airlines’ services to and from Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday have been cancelled "due to operational reasons", a week after its flights out of Pearson Airport were delayed for four days. A total of 178 passengers travelling from Zagreb to Canada’s largest city yesterday were left stranded at the airport with no accommodation, food or alternative transport offered by the embattled carrier. The fledgling airline's Twitter and Facebook accounts have also been taken down, sparking rumours that it was ceasing operations entirely. A recorded message from the airline said that its Wednesday Athens - Zagreb - Toronto flight has been cancelled, as have two flights between Toronto and Greece via Budapest. Staff at Toronto Airport tsaid the airline was grounded because it hadn’t paid its landing fees to the airport.
Officials from the airline have been unreachable. However, earlier this morning, co-owner Bill Alefantis said the leisure carrier would issue an official statement on its future later today. A Facebook group called “SkyGreece Troubles” has been set up for stranded travellers to discuss their experiences online, with many complaining the airline has not responded to their requests for information. SkyGreece Airlines launched operations on May 22, while its one weekly seasonal service from Toronto to the Croatian capital was inaugurated a month later. A 274-seat Boeing 767-300ER is used on the route. The flights have proven popular with both holidaymakers and those visiting family and relatives. A total of seventeen rotations were to operate to Zagreb until October 7, with some 4.500 passengers booked on these flights.
Earlier this summer, SkyGreece’s Regional Manager for Croatia, Mark Mocnaj, told EX-YU Aviation News that the carrier was evaluating the possibility of extending its services to Zagreb and even introducing flights to other cities in the region. “We are monitoring demand and evaluating the possibility of extending and renewing our service and frequencies for this year and next to possibly even include new routes to the region. This, however, will only be announced in Q4 of this year”, Mr Mocnaj said at the time. SkyGreece is a Greek-registered airline, founded by a group of Greek entrepreneurs, with its offices in Toronto, Montreal and Athens. Some 150 of SkyGreece’s employees have come from Greece’s former national carrier Olympic Airways. The Toronto – Zagreb route marked the resumption of transatlantic flights from the Croatian capital after a seven year hiatus.