Hotels and restaurants in Greece may stay open for longer to provide an alternative destination for winter holidaymakers who are avoiding countries on the other side of the Mediterranean after the Tunisian terrorist attacks.
EasyJet is trying to persuade Greek tourist chiefs to extend the holiday season, which normally runs from May to September, to March until November.
The talks are aimed at avoiding a repeat of bed shortages in the Canary Islands last year when airlines shifted capacity there after attacks on tourists in Egypt.
Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK regional director, said: “We can’t fly people there if there aren’t hotels or restaurants open, but they’re not going to open unless we’re bringing people in, so it’s kind of chicken and egg.”
EasyJet scrapped flights to Monastir, its only Tunisian destination, after an Islamist gunman killed 38 people in the resort town of Sousse in June. Three months earlier, more than 20 people died in an attack on the Bardo National Museum in Tunis.
Travel to other countries in the region is recovering only slowly. “There’s a lot more unrest in places like Egypt and North Africa than we’ve seen,” Ms Dekkers said. “At the moment we’re being a bit more cautious because the consumer is being more cautious.”
EasyJet said last week that it would hire 1,140 cabin crew and pilots over the next 12 months as 14 more Airbus Group SE A320 jets joined the fleet. The airline is planning growth in Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Iceland.