The offer of discounted return fares to Greece by Emirate Airlines has shaken the Greek travel market. Emirates is currently offering round trip tickets to Greece for $1400 for people traveling during the months of April, May and June and $1550 for the months of July, August and September.

However this is a limited offer which expires today.

Greek travel agents had predicted two weeks ago that the entrance of the Abu-Dhabi based Etihad into this niche market would ignite competition.

Paul Mavroudis from Parthenon Travel said to NKEE that people who were not considering to travel to Greece due to the economic crisis were now taking advantage of this new offer.

“The market has certainly warmed up,” Mavroudis said. While the recent offer from Emirates has increased demand Mavroudis cautions that it could be short-lived.

Although it is hard to anticipate if Etihad or other airlines will counterattack with new special deals it is probable that new offers can be announced, according to Mavroudis.

Kostas Kavalakis from Grecian Tours reaffirmed that nobody can safely predict the announcement of further offers of discounted fares to Greece but said that it can’t be ruled out. 

Three Greek Australian travel agents have previously reported a 20-35 percent drop in the sale of tickets to Greece compared to the same period last year.

Andreas Tsitsanis of Harvey World Travel had argued that 2009 was probably one of the worst years ever.