|Founded||1987 (as Aegean Aviation)|
|Commenced operations||28 May 1999|
|Airport lounge||Aegean Club Lounge|
|Fleet size||47 (61 incl. Olympic Air)|
|Headquarters||Kifisia, Attica, Greece|
|Revenue||€983.0 million (2015)|
|Operating income||€100.3 million (2015)|
|Net income||€68.4 million (2015)|
Aegean Airlines S.A. (Greek: Αεροπορία Αιγαίου Ανώνυμη Αεροπορική Εταιρεία, Aeroporía Aigíou Anónime Etairía pronounced [aeropoˈria eˈʝeu]; LSE: 0OHY) is the largest Greek airline by total number of passengers carried, by number of destinations served and by fleet size. A Star Alliance member since June 2010, it operates scheduled and charter services from Athens and Thessaloniki to other major Greek destinations as well as to a number of European and Middle Eastern destinations. Its main hubs are Athens International Airport in Athens, Thessaloniki International Airport in Thessaloniki and Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus. It also uses other Greek airports as bases, some of which are seasonal. It has its head office in Kifisia, a suburb of Athens. Although the airline is the largest airline in Greece, it is not a flag carrier.
On 21 October 2012, Aegean Airlines announced that it had struck a deal to acquire Olympic Air, and the buyout was approved by the European Commission a year later, on 9 October 2013. Both carriers continue to operate under separate brands. In addition, Aegean Airlines participated in the final stages of the tender for the privatization of Cyprus Airways, the national carrier of Cyprus. Following the bankruptcy of Cyprus Airways, Aegean Airways established a hub at Larnaca Airport, thus initiating scheduled flights to and from the island to various destinations and filling the service gap created by the services termination of Cyprus Airways.
Aegean Airlines was founded as Aegean Aviation in 1987. It was originally a VIP/business air operation specialising in executive and air ambulance services. On 17 February 1992, it became the first airline to be issued with a Greek independent air operator's licence. After it was acquired by Vasilakis Group in 1994, Aegean Aviation commenced VIP flights from Athens all over the world with wholly owned Learjet aircraft. The Aegean Airlines name was adopted with the start of scheduled passenger services at the end of May 1999.
Aegean's first commercial flights were in May 1999 from Athens to Heraklion, Crete and Thessaloniki with 2 brand-new wholly owned British Aerospace Avro RJ100. In December 1999 Aegean also acquired Air Greece. After an agreement in March 2001 to merge Aegean and Cronus Airlines, the company operated for a while as "Aegean Cronus Airlines" until full integration. Since 2005, the airline has been in partnership with Lufthansa, offering participation in the Miles & More programme, and its flights, in addition to its A3 code also have the Lufthansa LH code. In March 2006, Aegean Airlines also entered into a co-operation agreement with TAP Portugal . In December 2008, Aegean Airlines announced its co-operation with Brussels Airlines.
In 2009, Aegean Airlines started codeshare agreements with BMI, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and TAP Portugal. On 26 May 2009, the Aegean Airlines' membership application was approved by the Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance. Aegean officially joined the alliance on 30 June 2010.
In February 2010, initial shareholder discussions took place to consider co-operation between Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air fueling rumours of a possible merger. On 22 February 2010, Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines announced that they agreed to a merger. The newly merged airline was to carry the Olympic brand name and logo, after a transition period in which both airline brands will be used in parallel. The Aegean brand would cease to exist after the transition period. It was expected that the merger would be finalised and the new combined airline would begin operation by October 2010.
Aegean joined Star Alliance at the end of June 2010. The intent was for the merged carrier to be a Star Alliance member, despite the fact that Olympic Air was forging ties with SkyTeam pre-merger. Star Alliance welcomed the proposed merger, releasing a statement stating "The integration teams from both sides will soon meet to assess the necessary steps, in order to guarantee a smooth transition of the merged Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air operations into the Star Alliance network".
On 26 January 2011, the European Commission blocked the merger between the two airlines, citing anti-competition concerns. The commission stated that the merger would have created a "quasi-monopoly" in Greece's air transport market, with the combined airline controlling more than 90% of the Greek domestic air transport market. The EC further stated its belief that the merger would lead to higher fares for four of the six million Greek and European passengers flying to and from Athens each year, with no realistic prospects that a new airline of sufficient size would enter the market to restrain the merged airline's pricing. Additionally, commissioner Joaquin Almunia stated that the merger would have led to higher prices and lower quality of service for Greeks and tourists traveling between Athens and the islands. Both carriers offered remedies in an attempt to ease concerns, though the EU believed that they would not be enough to protect travelers adequately and ease competition concerns. One of the remedies offered by the airlines included ceding takeoff and landing slots at Greek airports, though the commission noted that Greek airports do not suffer from the congestion observed at other European airports in previous airline mergers or alliances.
On 21 October 2012 Aegean Airlines announced that it had struck a deal to acquire Olympic Air, pending approval by the European Commission.On 23 April 2013, the European Commission issued a press release announcing it was starting an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines and announcing that the Commission will have reached a decision by 3 September 2013. On 13 August 2013 it was published in the Greek media that the final decision had been delayed until 16 October 2013. The merger was approved by the European Commission on 9 October 2013 citing that "due to the on-going Greek crisis and given Olympic's own very difficult financial situation, Olympic would be forced to leave the market soon in any event".
On 1 February 2014 Aegean Airlines took over every non-PSO route that was previously operated by Olympic Air. As of 3 July 2014 the airline is owned by Theodoros Vassilakis (34.17% - 23.6% via Evertrans S.A. and 9.46% via Autοhellas S.A.), Alnesco Enterprises Company Limited (9.48%), Siana Enterprises Company Limited (9.48%), Konstantakopoulos Achilleas (6.39%).
In January 2016, two Palestinians with Israeli citizenship were removed from an Aegean flight from Greece to Israel at the demand of Jewish Israeli passengers who prevented the flight from taking off by standing in the aisles. The Jewish Israeli passengers claimed the two Palestinians posed a security risk. Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, called the ejection of the two passengers “unjust and disgraceful.” He said: “We are outraged by how two Palestinians were treated with discrimination and injustice at the hands of Aegean cabin crew ... We call on the Greek government to take strong action against this racist act ... This appalling behaviour by the Israeli passengers is reminiscent of the worst years of the South African apartheid.” Yonatan Gher, the head of Amnesty International in Israel said the incident should not come as a surprise, as the Israeli government has been inciting distrust and racism against an entire section of society. Aegean Airlines CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis sent an official apology to the PLO secretary General Saeb Erekat and was set to meet with the Palestinian ambassador to Greece, Marwan Toubassi.
In 2009, Aegean Airlines carried 6.6 million passengers surpassing for the first time its rival Olympic Airlines, which carried 5.2 million passengers. In 2010 Aegean Airlines carried 6.1 million passengers, of which 50% were foreigners. In 2011 Aegean Airlines carried 6.5 million passengers of which, 54% was on international routes.
In 2012, amidst the unprecedented economic crisis for Greek tourism and the economy in general, Aegean Airlines carried 6.1 million passengers having a sharp increase in passengers from international destinations to regional airports of Greece (Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Chania) as well as Thessaloniki. Athens International Airport suffered a 6% decrease from 2011, but the airline managed to increase its load factor from 68.9% to 74.3%.
The table below is a summary of the 2004-2015 business trends of Aegean Airlines based on the company's financial reports. Figures from 2014 onwards include Olympic Airways, following its full acquisition by Aegean.
|Revenue (€ millions)||283.5||340.6||401.1||482.7||611.7||622.7||591.0||668.2||653.4||682.7||911.8||983.0|
|Net Profits/Losses after tax (€ millions)||−3.6||15.0||24.6||35.8||29.5||23.0||−23.3||−27.2||−10.5||66.3||80.4||68.4|
|Number of employees||1,551||1,629||1,729||1,923||2,142||2,463||1,949||1,615||1,347||1,459||1,678||2,344|
|Number of passengers (millions)||4.3||4.5||5.2||6.0||6.6||6.2||6.5||6.1||6.9||10.1||11.6|
|Passenger load factor (%)||>70||70||70||65,8||68,1||68,9||74||79||78.3||76.9|
|Number of aircraft||21||23||29||33||26||29||28||30||50||58|
For 2016, Aegean Airlines has scheduled flights totaling 16 million seats (including Olympic Air), one million more than in 2015. Aegean Airlines' long-term business plan aims for over 15 million passengers by 2023.
The Aegean Airlines livery is mostly "eurowhite", featuring a thin red line towards the lower part of the fuselage. Above it, the fuselage is white and features the airline's name, written in dark blue using trademarked font series. Below the red line, the fuselage is painted grey. The Aegean Airlines logo, two seagulls flying in front of the sun, is featured on the tail of the aircraft. In addition to the standard livery, Aegean Airlines uses a number of non-standard liveries, such as one advertising Star Alliance as well as one celebrating the new Acropolis Museum.
|Aegean Airlines livery|
Miles+Bonus is the frequent flyer program of Aegean Airlines and its subsdiniary, Olympic Air. It is a rebranding of Miles&Bonus, the former frequent flyer program of Aegean as well as a replacement for Olympic Air's Travelair Club. Miles+Bonus has three tiers: Blue, Silver and Gold.
As of 8 November 2015 Aegean Airlines operates scheduled flights to 74 destinations.
Aegean Airlines codeshares with the following airlines:
Additionally, Aegean Airlines has a commercial agreement with Trenitalia.
During summer season, Aegean Airlines operates a number of A320s, performing charter services in association with major tourist operators. The charter flights connect popular holiday destinations in Greece to Italy, France, United Kingdom, Poland, Israel, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Ukraine and other countries. In recent years, they have also operate charter flights for football fixtures, for example, when the Greek national football team is playing abroad.
In its history, the airline has so far made two strategic moves concerning its fleet. The first was meant to withdraw all turboprop planes from the fleet, which was accomplished in May 2004. Subsequently, Aegean Airlines placed a large order for Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft to drastically renew the fleet with various additions of same type aircraft over the recent years. As result, Aegean Airlines operates an all-Airbus fleet, currently consisting of the following aircraft.
In addition to the aircraft above, Aegean Airlines also operates a Learjet 60. The aircraft is used for the provision of VIP services and executive travel, in a non-scheduled flight basis.
In August 2010, Aegean Airlines became the first airline to commit to upgrading its Airbus A320 family fleet with FANS-B+ datalink system offered by Airbus. As of March 2014 all passenger cabins across the whole fleet are being retrofitted with brand new reclining Aviointeriors Colombus Two seats, which are thinner and lighter, also allowing the addition of an extra row. Aegean Airlines completed the purchase of seven brand new Airbus A320ceo ("ceo" - current engine option) as new additions to its fleet. All aircraft deliveries have been completed by early 2016.
Other than the current aircraft, Aegean Airlines also operated the following types:
Aegean Airlines has received a number of awards as well as an increasing industry recognition even without including and counting awards issued by individual airport authorities. Most prominent are the seven Skytrax awards within a period of eight years (2009 - 2016) as the Best Regional Airline in Europe.
- 2000/2001 – ERA Bronze Award: Airline of the Year
- 2004/2005 – ERA Gold Award: Airline of the Year
- 2005/2006 – ERA Silver Award: Airline of the Year
- 2006/2007 – ERA Silver Award: Airline of the Year
- 2007 – ERA's Palme d'Or award
- 2008/2009 – ERA Gold Award: Airline of the year
- 2009 – Skytrax Best Regional Airline in Europe
- 2011 – Skytrax Best Regional Airline in Europe
- 2012 – Skytrax Best Regional Airline in Europe
- 2013 – Skytrax Best Regional Airline in Europe
- 2013 – On-time Performance Service Awards: Most Reliable Regional Airline in Europe for 2012
- 2014 – Skytrax Best Regional Airline in Europe
- 2015 – Skytrax Best Regional Airline in Europe
- 2016 – Skytrax Best Regional Airline in Europe
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- Rina Rozenberg: Israeli Arabs Removed From Flight at Demand of Jewish Passengers, Haaretz, 5 January 2016; Israeli Arabs Taken Off Greek Flight Under Pressure by Israeli Jews, Jewish Press, 5 January 2016; Agence France-Press: Israeli-Arab and Palestinian abandon plane after passenger complaints, The Guardian, 5 January 2016; Lizzie Dearden: Flight delayed after Israeli passengers refuse to take off with Palestinian 'terrorists' on board in Greece, The Independent, 5 January 2016; Romil Patel: Palestinian and Israeli-Arab forced to leave flight after being called 'terrorists' by passengers, International Business Times, 6 January 2016; Jack Moore: [Palestinians removed from Greece flight after Israeli passenger protest], Newsweek, 5 January 2016; Arab-Jewish tensions force two passengers off an Aegean Airlines flight, The Economist, 14 January 2016; Jonathan Cook: Welcome to Israel’s Version of Apartheid, CounterPunch, 12 January 2016.
- Associated Press: Palestinians Slam Removal of Israeli Arabs From Aegean Airlines Flight, Haaretz; Nick Squires: Anger after Arabs forced off plane by Jewish Israeli passengers, The Telegraph, 6 January 2016; Palestinians call for Greek action in Aegean flight, Ekathimerini, 7 January 2016; Ben Norton: Arabs subjected to more bigotry: Israelis forced crew to kick Palestinians off plane — in Greece, Salon, 6 January 2016.
- Aegean Airlines apologizes for removing Arabs from flight, Times of Israel, 7 January 2016; Ariel Ben Solomon: Greek airline apologizes for ejecting two Arab-Israelis from plane, Jerusalem Post, 7 January 2016; Caroline Mortimer: Airline apologises for removing Palestinian passengers from flight after group of Israelis refuse to fly with 'terrorists', The Independent, 6 January 2016; Airline apologizes for racist treatment of Palestinian passengers, Maan News Agency, 7 January 2016.
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