TWA to Maintain Flights to Athens Despite Warning
TWA officials decided Thursday to continue the airline’s daily flights from New York to Athens, despite a warning from President Reagan that the Greek capital’s airport might not be safe.
“People are still willing to go and we’re willing to take them,” said Sally McElwreath, Trans World Airlines’ staff communications director.
At a news conference Tuesday, Reagan called security at Athens International Airport inadequate and encouraged U.S. citizens and U.S.-flag airlines to cancel their travel plans.
Pan American World Airways responded Wednesday by suspending its daily flight to Athens--which makes a stop at Los Angeles--for at least a week, or until it can be determined that the airport is safe. Pan Am and TWA are the only U.S. scheduled airlines that regularly fly to Athens. The Greek carrier, Olympic Airways, serves Athens from the East Coast.
McElwreath said that TWA, whose Boeing 727 mid-range jetliner was hijacked last Friday by Shia Muslim militants in Athens, considered and rejected suggestions that flights be canceled.