The Greek government is about to retable plans for a network of seaplanes that would facilitate travel and transportation between the smaller Greek islands. According to the news, the framework of operation and new planning is going forward with streamlined licensing procedures to spur investors.
Deputy Infrastructure and Transport Minister Yiannis Kefalogiannis met recently with Nicolas Charalambous, who is the CEO of Hellenic Seaplanes to discuss strategic investment in the bold plan to create a network of waterway hubs to ports up for privatization, marinas, and luxury tourism complexes. The video below from Hellenic Seaplanes reveals the scope of their massive plan that was slated in 2016 to create 112 aerodromes to serve Greece.
Previous planning and investment had been held up primarily because of an arduous 40 step licensing procedure that not only delayed projects but scared off many potential investors and stakeholders. A revised bill is expected to be tabled before parliament as early as October. Nicolas Charalambous has this to say about the proposal:
“The transport ministry is moving rapidly to improve the institutional framework with a view to launching a significant number of waterways as soon as possible, especially in the coming summer tourist season of 2020.”
Mr. Charalambous went on to say his group is “taking concrete steps to support this investment initiative,” which he says will contribute to the creation of the first sustainable waterways network in Greece.
Hellenic Seaways announced back in 2017 that it had secured €250 million euros in financial backing from Petrichor Capital Partners to go towards the project. However, one of the key aspects of this deal was the streamlined and transparent nature of the regulatory framework, which would make the investor environment more friendly. Hellenic Seaplanes hopes all the infrastructure will be completed by 2020 ahead of the new tourism season.
This new seaplane network would contribute dramatically to the Greek economy and the economies of the associated links in the chain of the network. The interconnected local communities would clearly benefit from the influx of tourism, and especially during the Winter months of relative isolation for many islands.
Nicolas Charalambous, who began his career as the head of logistics started his carrier at Olympic Games organization, Athens 2004, was also the Managing Director of Element Power Hellas S.A., and American private equity firm.