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50 new destinations after the merger of Aegean and Olympic Air

01 November 2013 / 20:11:47  GRReporter
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The objectives of the new airline created after the merger of Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air are to increase the flow of tourists to Greece by over 650,000 seats in 2014 and interrupt the fall in the domestic market. The main strategy of the newly formed company aims at lower ticket prices, connections with unprofitable destinations, 15 new destinations abroad and at increasing the number of flights, as stated by deputy director of Aegean Airlines Eftichios Vassilakis.

As of next year, Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air will serve together 250 destinations, 205 of which will be airports abroad. According to the company, there will be 750,000 to 800,000 new seats on international flights whereas the company will serve passengers to 50 destinations inside Greece.

From 2014 onwards, the company will fly to 45 to 50 new destinations from the eight existing facilities in Greece and it is expected that a new base will be created in Chania on Crete. The number of flights from Athens will be increased due to 15 destinations which, in 2014, will include the airports of Birmingham in the UK, Marseille and Nantes in France, Zurich in Switzerland, Hamburg, Hanover and Nuremberg in Germany, Copenhagen in Denmark, Catania in Italy, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Beirut in Lebanon, Paphos in Cyprus and another four cities, including Stockholm or Oslo, Ljubljana and Dubrovnik.

After the merger Olympic Air has become a subsidiary of Aegean Airlines that intends to keep the two brand names (Aegean and Olympic Air) and the relevant booking systems. The total number of aircraft of the new company is 45. It has 2,900 employees and passenger traffic of 8.4 million people. It is expected that the cost savings from the joint activities that will be made over the next 6-14 months will amount to 35 million euro per year. A small number of jobs in the administration may be cut after the merger but Vassilakis has assured that, in the summer of 2014, the number of employees will be higher than today.

The company has expressed a desire to transfer the benefits of the merger to its passengers by making the fares more competitive, increasing the bonuses for regular customers of the two existing companies and by expanding its network. Regarding the fares, Aegean has announced two new categories in the economic class, namely GoLight and Flex. The fares to Athens will start from 24 euro and the customers of Olympic Air will be able to take advantage of them after February 2014. The owners of bonus cards issued by the two companies will be able to immediately benefit from the points they have collected from their flights. After meetings with remote destinations in Greece the new company has decided to support the unprofitable destinations that have so far been served by Olympic Air through the establishment of a second cheap ticket to and from the particular destinations, which will cost 39 euro. In this regard, Aegean will change fares from unprofitable destinations in Greece to foreign airports, the decrease in the prices amounting to 140 euro. Furthermore, the new company is planning to increase the number of its flights during the tourist season (July-September) without the need for government funding.

The establishment of the new company is the result of the efforts of six consortiums, including T. Vassilakis, A § P Laskaridis, A. Konstandakopoulos, D. Ioannou, G. David, Piraeus Bank and 52,000 shareholders. Eftichios Vassilakis has added that the Aegean and Olympic Air company will play a leading role in the changes that are expected in both the Greek market and the tourism market in the surrounding countries.

He pointed out that the internal market which has declined by 30% regarding the passenger traffic and by 40% in profits has started returning to its normal condition. Most noticeable is the increase in the international flights to all airports in Greece, especially to Athens, where the number of international passengers has increased by 4.5%. The number of passengers from Russia has also increased. Of the 1.2 million Russians who are believed to have visited Greece in 2013, the company transported 220,000 visitors (440,000 passengers).

The company's goal over the next decade (2013 - 2023) is to increase its share in the international market by 15% to 25%. The network’s growth prospects include 70 aircrafts, 350 destinations and 14 to 15 million passengers, 9-10 million of which will come from other countries. They are based on a survey for the development of Greek tourism until 2021, conducted by McKinsey agency, according to which the number of passengers from abroad will increase to 22-24 million and the average annual investment will increase by about 3.3 billion euro.

Tags: EconomyCompaniesAegeanOlympic AirAircraftsDestinations
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