Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines has launched an expanded schedule which includes 29 new scheduled international routes from a total of 12 Greek and Cypriot airports, eight of which Aegean uses as bases.
This year Aegean Airlines will operate direct international flights from all eight bases. These are Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Kos, Kalamata and Larnaca. The airline has unveiled Kos and Kalamata as bases this year, and is increasing the number of aircraft it is basing at Heraklion and Rhodes.
Aegean will also operate direct international flights from Chania, Alexandroupolis, Zakynthos and Skiathos. This year 130 of the airline’s total of 158 scheduled and charter international routes are from regional airports, a fact Aegean says characterizes its effort to strengthen tourism to Greece.
However, Aegean is also reinforcing its international network from Athens, making use of aircraft capacity it has removed from domestic routes because of weak demand.
Aegean’s route network for 2013 includes five countries new to the airline (Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden and Azerbaijan) and 10 new international destinations. These are Geneva, Manchester, Lyon, Stockholm, Kiev, Baku, Berlin, Nuremberg, Hannover and Warsaw.
This year, Aegean Airlines will operate 33 direct international routes to 12 countries from Heraklion in Crete. The carrier will base five Airbus A320 jets at Heraklion and will offer new services to St. Petersburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv and Kiev. Aegean will also significantly increase its service frequencies and capacity on existing routes from Heraklion to Russia and Germany.
“Despite the crisis, the reduced domestic demand and the loss-making results of last years, we continue to invest by taking up initiatives to strengthen Greek tourism,” Eftichios Vassilakis, vice-president of Aegean Airlines, said at a press conference in Heraklion held to announce the airline’s 2013 network growth.
“We look forward to the synergies arising from the acquisition of Olympic Air, after receiving the approval of the competition commission, because only with extraversion and economies of scale we can continue our efforts and ensure competitiveness and sustainable development,” Vassilakis added.
“The presentation of our program here at Heraklion is symbolic since Crete is the largest pillar of Greek tourism, and therefore we support it with a base of five aircraft and 33 direct international routes,” said Vassilakis. “It’s time for a synthesis of the forces of state, institutions and enterprises in order to form a common strategy that will bring back growth.”