One Aegean flight took off more than 90 minutes late. The reason is not clear for a long time – until the priests pass in front of those waiting in procession.
Greece is considered one of the most religious peoples in Europe. About 92 percent of the population profess and practice the Christian faith, as the US Pew Research Center found in a 2020 study. At the time, 80% of Greeks said that faith was very important to them. This value has never been higher in any European country.
Most Greeks are Greek Orthodox. The heads of the church are several so-called patriarchs. The importance of religion is also evident in everyday Greek life. You can find icons, that is, sacred images, even on public transport.
A worldly problem for the Aegean
The love of religion has now led to worldly problems at the Greek Aegean airline. Aegean Airlines Flight 909 was scheduled to take off on Sunday (November 12) from Larnaca, Cyprus, to Athens at 8:35 p.m. Two hours before departure, the approximately 200 passengers were informed that departure would be delayed for ten minutes.
However, the boarding has not yet begun at 9pm, the portal said Doc News. No reason for the delay was given to those waiting at the gate. After a short time, the reason became clear. A procession of priests and Cypriot police officers made their way past the waiting passengers and boarded the plane. The courtiers pushed in front of them a huge icon wrapped in velvet.
The pilot welcomes the holy image
It took another half hour before the image was safely stowed in the front row of the A321 Neo undamaged. Only then did the waiting passengers begin to board. The plane took off more than an hour and a half late.
The captain explained the delay: “We welcome our Lady of Consolation on board our flight. We hope that you will stand by our side in these difficult times that we are going through.” The plane landed in Athens at 11:42 pm.
Free tickets as compensation
Many travelers expressed their anger on social media. The airline has since apologized to passengers for the delay and promised all passengers a free ticket as compensation.
“Typical entrepreneur. Lifelong beer expert. Hipster-friendly internet buff. Analyst. Social media enthusiast.”