Feb 14th, 2020. Aegean Airlines first commercial flight was in 1999. In October 2012, Aegean Airlines acquired national carrier Olympic Air. Since 1999, Aegean airlines has become the Greek flag carrier, the largest Greek airline by total number of passengers carried (15 million pax / year), by number of destinations served (155 destinations) as well as by fleet size. Aegean Airlines belongs to Star Alliance and employs about 3000 persons.
As of December 2019, Aegean Airlines operates above 50 Airbus airplanes, mainly consisting of A320/ A321 and plans for further fleet expansion. In that respect and on February 12 2020, Aegean Airlines has unveiled a new livery on the first delivered Airbus A320neo, out of 46 such airplanes to be delivered over the next 5 years.
A new start for Aegean Airlines
The new painting was unveiled at an official ceremony in front of employees, attended by Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Aegean chairman Eftychios Vassilakis.
Describing 2020 as “a new beginning”, Aegean chief executive C told attendees at the unveiling that “the next 24 months will be extremely creative for us, since we will design our renewed product offering”, and he reiterated the company’s commitment for ongoing growth.
The newly branded aircraft began operations this month, with the first A320neo entering service between Athens and Munich on 14 February 2020
Aegean Airlines has no plan to go long-haul, looking more to concentrate on short and medium haul, with a single type of airplanes for more flexibility and to better monitor costs, including ones associated to training and maintenance costs.
A strong social responsability
Aegean Airlines can rely on dedicated personnel, as well as on a supportive environment as Aegean Airlines social responsibility is always kept in mind. Partnerships have been developed with Greek flying schools to accommodate Aegean Airlines fleet growth and flying standard : about 120 Aegean new pilots will be formed this year. Environmental footprint is improved every year, with new airplanes being more efficient (Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A320neo) and some other internal measures.
Each new airplane is bringing about 100 000 tourists per year, contributing to Greek economy by spending about 80 millions €. High season spans from Mars to November with summer time being the peak season. European tourists are mostly coming from UK, Italy and France, attracted by a friendly population, nice weather, a beautiful landscape being the Greek islands and the Mediterranean sea as well the unique Greek historical monuments. All served with comfortable accommodation at reasonable prices.
A solid growth
This Aegean expansion plan and the Greek economy recovery are helping each other, with the support of a business friendly government.
In that respect, it is worth noticing Greek 10-year bond yields fell below 1% for the first time on February 2020,. This is a dramatic turnaround since the height of the Eurozone debt crisis when the country’s 10-year yield spiked above 30 percent. Eurozone economy is slowing and heading for sub-zero interest rates and at the same time Greek economy is experiencing solid growth and adding market appeal with the offer of extra yield above Eurozone’s safest bonds. This should attract new investors fueling further growth.
In short, recipe for success is there for Aegean Airlines and Greek economy thanks to an increased European tourism in an attractive, safe and friendly country, associated to a cost efficient airline listening to customers and a business friendly government. A positive outcome. Nadia Didelot from Athens for AeroMorning.