Hellenic Seaplanes (Athens) has received its first Cessna (single turboprop) C208 amphibian bought from Textron Aviation (Wichita Cessna Aircraft Field) as the start-up prepares to become the first company to launch seaplane passenger flights in Greek waterways in the coming months.

The arrival on August 2 of the 12-seater turboprop, SX-AUA, will be followed by a second by the end of September and a third before the end of the year, the company said in a statement.

The aircraft will be stationed at Megara, on the Attica peninsula near Athens, the operational base of IFLY (Greece) (IFM, Megara), which has been in a strategic partnership with Hellenic Seaplanes since 2021, providing the seaplane operator with a base and allowing it to use its facilities for operating and maintaining its seaplanes and for fuel supply.

Hellenic Seaplanes plans to operate scheduled routes and private charters, aiming to provide easy port-to-port connections between Greek islands. Previously, plans were to start with year-round operations from Megara to Tinos and Patmos in the Aegean Sea.

The arrival of the first aircraft was the culmination of ten years of work by Hellenic Seaplanes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Charalambous, supported by investment from a Greek millionaire. Charalambous previously told ch-aviation the company aimed to operate four to six seaplanes to serve the first ten water airports, an investment of about EUR10 million euros (USD12 million). The ultimate plan was to operate a fleet of 20 seaplanes within the first five years, with the potential for up to 100 seaplanes to serve all the water airports to be built in the country.

According to Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Christos Tsitouras, Hellenic Seaplanes has secured all the necessary permits and approvals to start operations following the Greek registration of the aircraft. He acknowledged the company has also been active in licensing a network of waterways in recent years.

In the statement, the Greek government, represented by Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Staikouras, Labour and Social Security Minister Adonis Georgiadis, and the Deputy Minister of Shipping and Island Policy Ioannis Pappas, expressed its support for the company and the development of seaplane operations to support tourism and the wider economy. The arrival of the first seaplane in Greece is an important milestone for the country and will significantly improve connectivity between North-eastern Aegean islands and the Greek mainland, Pappas said.

Greece plans to develop about 100 water airports to address the current lack of connectivity among Greek islands. Other nascent seaplane operators in Greece include Grecian Air Seaplanes and Merkur Air, while Trans Maldivian Airways is considering expanding its operations to Greece.