Hello Marie and Andrew.
According to my climbing companion Dave, the year was 2007. This was our first trip to Crete specifically for mountaineering, options on flights from Scotland at that time were very limited, we could only get out as part of a package holiday(no Ryanair, Easyjet etc) and although we hunted for a resort as close to the White Mountains as possible all we could get was a resort just east of Rethimnon. This was OK for Psiloritis but a fair drive to Omalos for Mount Gingilos etc.
The next few years we were able to get a seat only flight(almost as expensive as the whole package) and based ourselves in Sfakia but still had to fly into/out off Iraklion with the 3 hour drive each way. But still worth the discomfort and effort.