Suspension of Qatar Airways Flights to Athens Leaves Greek-Australians in Limbo

credit: Anna Zvereva / Wikimedia Commons

Greek-Australians who had been planning to visit Greece in the next few weeks were left in limbo after Athens suspended all Qatar Airways flights following an outbreak of coronavirus cases.

The airline, which was the only air carrier offering flights from Australia to Greece during the pandemic, has had all its flights from Doha to Athens suspended until June 15.

The suspension followed 12 infections of passengers who arrived in Greece on Monday, including nine Pakistani residents living in Greece, two Greeks from Australia and a member of a Greek-Japanese family.

Australia has banned traveling outside the country with very few exemptions; tourism is not considered a sufficient reason to travel. But Australian dual-nationals, including Greeks, who leave the country using their foreign passport do not need an exemption.

The airlines Emirates and Etihad will begin flights to Greece beginning in July, offering an alternative to Qatar Airways which has been operating without pause throughout the COVID-19 crisis.