Like in many other areas with remote towns and villages, Greece subsidises some routes to smaller islands, allowing the island folks to travel. But for me, four hours of island hopping including six landings for the price for 100 Euro was too good an offer to resist!


I arrived at the airport early, in order to get my seat of choice - a window seat in front of the props. However, when arriving at the airport two hours before the flight, I was told to wait another half an hour for the check-in to open. Imagine my surprise, when I ended up waiting much longer - check-in didn't start until 25 minutes before departure! Got my window seat though, so I was ready to go!

Departing at 5PM, the ATR, which had previously flown from Thessaloniki to Corfu already, was filled to the gills for its next leg. After takeoff from Rwy 17 we passed the well-known Hotel Royal, located right next to Corfu Airport's single runway


After a brief 15 minute flight, largely spent with the fruitless efforts of cleaning my dirty window, we were on final approach to Preveza



As you can imagine, I wasn't totally happy about that. So, how to change that? Ask for a seat with a better view, right. Where's the seat with the best view? Up front, right. Thanks to the open-minded greek pilots, I was upgraded to the jumpseat for the rest of the adventure. Yay!

There wasn't much time for talk - we took off again and followed the west coast of the island of Lefkada to our next destination, Kefalonia



Enjoying life on 3'000 feet 



We were completely flying VFR, without using any FMC or other navigation aids. The nav display already shows our destination though, the island of Kefalonia



After a left-hand circling we turn into finals for Rwy 32



Some last corrections before touchdown! 

During the 20 minutes of ground time, I finally had a little time to get to know the cockpit crew. The co-pilot was quick to mention that "this flight is hell", and he could absolutely not understand why I would do this just for fun, let alone pay for it. And he didn't even know yet that I would return with the same plane right away!

Meanwhile, the Captain was outside, telling the ground crew to hurry - there was no ground power unit (GPU) around, and without any air-condition, the temperature inside the plane was swiftly climbing to 40 degrees. 

We were all happy to leave again, for what apparently is the shortest flight in Olympic's whole route network, the hop between Kefalonia and Zakynthos



Few minutes later: Runway in sight!   



Airport Overview from Final Rwy 16

After a little more than an hour, the return flight started, flying the same route vice versa. I opted for a cabin seat for a change - firstly, it really was a lot cooler there compared to the cockpit, and secondly I wanted to catch the nice sunset!







Changed to the jumpseat again for the next leg. Here we're overflying the dam which connects the island of Lefkada with the mainland. 



Here we are again, on finals Rwy 09 at Preveza. Thanks Canon for ISO 3200!



During the turn-around I had some more time to talk to the First Officer, who told me, that due to the harsh conditions during this flight (8 short legs, windy approaches, unbelievable heat in the cockpit), every Olympic pilot was only allowed to fly it twice a month.

Besides the talking, there was time for photos, too, of course 



Shortly after, we're back in the air again, now flying IFR in the darkness. Here we're already inbound Corfu, shortly before crossing the KRK VOR and 14 miles from touchdown (circle) 



Ready for my last landing of the day - a little high, but never mind. 

While on one side I was sad that this adventure had been over so quickly, I was also quite relived to get out of the heated up cockpit in Corfu and return to my hotel. Meanwhile, the pilots had to fly on back to Thessaloniki to arrive there at 11 o'clock at night - eight hours after leaving. A little demanding, really!

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