|Founded||1987 (as Aegean Aviation)|
|Commenced operations||May 1999|
|Airport lounge||Aegean Club Lounge|
|Fleet size||36 (excl. subsidiaries)|
|Headquarters||Kifisia, Attica, Greece|
|Net income||€66,331,000 (2013)|
Aegean Airlines SA (Greek: Αεροπορία Αιγαίου Α.Ε., 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 destinations. Its main hub is Athens International Airport in Athens, with a secondary hub at Thessaloniki International Airport. It also uses six other Greek airports as seasonal bases during the summer. It has its head office in Kifisia, a suburb of Athens.
In 2009, it carried 6,600,000 passengers surpassing for the first time its rival Olympic Airlines, which carried 5,265,729 passengers. In 2010 Aegean Airlines carried 6,100,000 passengers, of which 50% were foreigners. In 2011 Aegean Airlines carried 6.5 million passengers of which, 54% was on international routes.
In 2012 and amidst the unprecedented economic crisis that Greek tourism faced, Aegean Airlines accumulated a total number of passengers of 6.1 million but with a sharp increase in passengers from International destinations to regional airports of Greece (Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Chania, Thessaloniki). Athens International Airport suffered a decrease of 6% from 2011 but the airline managed to increase the load factor of its scheduled flights from 68.9% to 74.3%.
In 2013 the airline reported carrying 6.9 million passengers, an increase of 12% compared to 2012, with an average load factor of 79%.
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.
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 bought 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 bought 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.
As of 3 July 2014[update] 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%).
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.
Attempted merger with Olympic Air and buyout
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 October 21, 2012 Aegean Airlines announced that it had struck a deal to acquire Olympic Air, pending approval by the European Commission.On April 23, 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 September 3, 2013. On August 13, 2013 it was published in the Greek media that the final decision had been delayed until October 16, 2013. The merger was approved by the European Commission on October 9, 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".
The table below summarises recent business trends of Aegean Airlines based on the company's official financial reports. In 2013, it reported revenues of €682.7, the highest in its history. The company also returned to profit, having gained €66.3 million after taxes, also the highest number in its history.
|Revenue (€ millions)||283.5||340.6||401.1||482.7||611.7||622.7||591.0||668.2||653.4||682.7|
|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|
|Number of employees||1,551||1,629||1,729||1,923||2,142||2,463||1,949||1,615||1,347||1,459|
|Number of passengers (m)||4.3||4.5||5.2||6.0||6.6||6.2||6.5||6.1||6.9|
|Passenger load factor (%)||>70||70||70||74||79|
|Number of aircraft||21||23||29||33||26||29||28||30|
Livery and branding
The Aegean Airlines livery is mostly "eurowhite", featuring a thin red line towards the bottom of its planes. Above it, the fuselage is white and features the airline's name, written in the Aegean Airlines font, in dark blue. Below the red line, the fuselage is painted gray. The Aegean Airlines logo, two seagulls in front of the sun, is featured on the tail of all its aircraft. In addition to its standard livery, Aegean also utilises a number of non-standard liveries, such as a Star Alliance one as well as one celebrating the New Acropolis Museum.
|Aegean Airlines livery|
Aegean Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
During summer season, Aegean Airlines operates seven 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, Finland, Norway, Austria, Germany, Hungary and Ukraine.
In its history, the company has so far made two strategic plans for its fleet. The first was meant to withdraw all turboprop planes from the fleet, which was accomplished in May 2004. Following this, Aegean Airlines placed a large order for 27 Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 in order to renew its fleet. As of March 2014, Aegean Airlines operates an all-Airbus fleet consisting of the following aircraft with an average age of 5.7 years:
|Airbus A319-100||2||0||138||One in Olympic Air livery.|
|Airbus A320-200||28||7||168-174||One in Star Alliance livery. New deliveries due to 2015-2016. All to be equipped with sharklets.|
|Airbus A321-200||6||0||195-202 |
In August 2010, Aegean Airlines became the first airline to commit to upgrading its Airbus A320 fleet with FANS-B+ datalink system offered by Airbus, which will be mandated by February 2015 across European Airspace. As of March 2014, the cabin across the whole fleet is 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 expects the delivery of seven more brand new Airbus A320s ("ceo" - current engine option) to its fleet with deliveries agreed to start by June 2015 and be completed by early 2016.
Aegean has also operated the following aircraft:
Awards and recognition
Aegean Airlines has received a number of awards and recognitions: (*Airport issued awards not included)
- 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
- "Milestones". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "With a total of 158 international routes and 8 bases in Greece and Cyprus, Aegean Airlines is a key pillar of the Greek tourism.". aegeanair.com. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Blue Magazine". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Aegean Airlines Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- "Strong Performance in International, Profitability and planned Acquisition Synergies contribute to increased ability to support growth". www.aegeanair.com. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- "Conditions & Notices". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
- "Όροι και Γνωστοποιήσεις" (in Greek). Retrieved 12 November 2013.
- "Headquarters." Aegean Airlines. Retrieved on 22 February 2010. "Aegean Airlines Headquarters 31, Viltanioti Str. 145 64, Kifisia, Athens, Greece" Address in Greek: Βιλτανιώτη 31 145 64, Κηφισιά, Αθήνα
- "Annual Reports". Aegeanair.com. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- "• Προβολή θέματος – Επιβατική κίνηση -last update: ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΣ 2009". Airliners.gr. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
- "2012 Results". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Young, Kathryn M. (22 October 2012). "Aegean strikes deal to acquire Olympic Air". www.atwonline.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- George Georgiopoulos, Foo Yun Chee (9 October 2013). "Aegean Airlines wins EU approval to buy Olympic Air". www.reuters.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "AEGEAN: European Commission’s approval of the acquisition of Olympic Air allows the creation of a viable, dynamic Greek carrier". www.aegeanair.com. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Milestones". Aegean Airlines. en.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 45.
- Georgiopoulos, George (2 December 2008). "Greece's Aegean Air to grow routes despite downturn". Reuters. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "ΑΡΑΙΓ: Μέτοχοι με ποσοστό άνω του 5%". Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "Olympic Air and Aegean Air mulling cooperation". 11 February 2010.
- Georgiopoulo, George (22 February 2010). "UPDATE 3-Greek carriers Aegean, Olympic agree merger". Reuters. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- Staff (22 February 2010). "Aegean, Olympic Air Announce Merger". Capital.gr. Archived from the original on 30 March 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- Staff (22 February 2010). "Greek airlines agree merger: statement". AFG. Retrieved 23 February 2010.[dead link]
- Staff (22 February 2010). "Greek airlines merge". CTV. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- Staff (23 February 2010). "Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air to merge". Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- Bruce, Michael (23 February 2010). "Greek merger" (PDF). travelweekly.com.au. p. 3. Archived from the original on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- Staff (26 January 2011). "Olympic Air and Aegean merger is blocked by EU". BBC Online. Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Torello, Alessandro (26 January 2011). "EU Blocks Greek Airlines' Merger". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Chee, Foo Yun (26 January 2011). "EU blocks Olympic/Aegean merger, says anti-competitive". Reuters. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Reals, Kerry (26 January 2011). "EC blocks Aegean/Olympic merger on monopoly grounds". Flight International. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press Release - Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines. Europa.eu. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- "Competition Commission puts off Olympic-Aegean merger decision until Oct 16". ekathimerini.com. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- "Annual Financial Report 2013". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Annual Financial Report 2006". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Annual Financial Report 2007". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Annual Financial Report 2008". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Annual Financial Report 2009". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Annual Financial Report 2010". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Annual Financial Report 2011". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Annual Financial Report 2012". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Code-share partnerships". aegeanair.com. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- L, J (5 August 2014). "Aegean Airlines / airBaltic Begins Codeshare Service from August 2014". Airline Routes. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Aegean Airlines and EGYPTAIR sign new Code-Share Agreement". aegeanair.com. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Aegean Airlines | Nέο δρομολόγιο της Αegean Αirlines προς το Abu Dhabi και έναρξη πτήσεων κοινού κωδικού με την Etihad Airways". El.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- Aegean Airlines / Olympic Air launches Reciprocal Codeshare service | Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates. Airlineroute.net (2011-07-14). Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- Aegean Airlines | Charter Services | Charter Flights & Airplanes. En.aegeanair.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- Aegean Airlines Fleet | Airfleets aviation. Airfleets.net. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- "Fleet". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Aegean commits to FANS-B+ upgrade for A320s". ATW Online. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Awards". www.aegeanair.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
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