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My flight from Athens to Corfu lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes (left at 14:55). My return flight with the same airline (Ryanair) and same type of plane lasted about 45 minutes (left at 21:10).

Same thing with flight from Athens to Mytilini airport (50 minutes (morning) while return flight (night) was 35 minutes. Unfortunately I cannot remember flight details such as departure times and airline).

I generally see this happening in domestic flights in Greece.

Why does this happen?

  • 3
    Scheduled time or actual time? – JonathanReez Sep 29 '16 at 20:28
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    It's possible taxiing, queuing and leaving Athens takes longer because it's a bigger, busier airport. – blackbird Sep 29 '16 at 20:31
  • @JonathanReez Editing the question for the details of the flight – papakias Sep 29 '16 at 21:30
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    @pnuts or they could be pushback to landing, which seems to be what US airlines use (when they land, they usually tout their "early arrival" even though you may be stuck on the plane for another 20 or 30 minutes). – phoog Sep 29 '16 at 21:54
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The question is really not specific enough for us to answer with any precision. There are many factors that can affect the duration of a flight, and we don't even know exactly which parts of the flight are included in the timings you cite. I will assume that they are from your departure gate to your arrival gate.

The most likely explanation seems to be that when you leave Athens your plane is generally waiting behind a line of several other planes before it can take off, and when flying to Athens this does not happen. Another possible factor is that one of the runways at Athens is much closer to the terminal than the other. If your outbound flight used the farther runway, and your inbound flight did not, that would contribute to the difference in time.

  • Unfortunately I cannot be more specific. I noticed that this difference exists when return flight is at night. – papakias Sep 30 '16 at 10:31
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Assuming it is the air-borne time, then, it could be because of the jet stream, plus Corfu to Athens is West to East.

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    Do such short flights even have time to climb to an altitude where the jet stream matters? – phoog Sep 30 '16 at 4:21

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