Aegean Airlines has big plans to add new routes as well as frequency in the 2019 flight schedule. The overall goal for the main airline in Greece is expansion and extending the length of the tourism season. Their timing could be impeccable considering Brexit. They are looking at an increase of 700,000 seats, which would increase their international seat numbers to 10.3 million.
The New Routes
In 2019, Athens will have new flights to many Mediterranean destinations including Marrakech, Casablanca, Ibiza, Valencia, Sarajevo, Tunis and Skopje. They will also have one from Thessaloniki to Hanover. It is significantly noticeable that the new routes are Spain’s market. This could be considered good timing because Brexit is around the corner and certain airlines might get a tough hit from it. If they don’t carefully plan, they might not have their certifications ready to fly to certain destinations. One of these airlines is Iberia. Since Iberia might be considered a UK company, they won’t be able to even fly in their own backyard. Their loss could easily be Aegean’s tactical gain.
Aegean’s focus is not only in Spain. They will be increasing flights to Iberian destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Porto. This is occurring parallel to Emirates plans for Porto. The Near-East Airline plans to visit Porto four times a week. Because of Aegean’s addition, Porto can expect a busier tourism season. As for the rest of Western Europe, they will be adding more visits primarily in Germany. The German destinations include: Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Zurich. The increase is also expected in routes to Vienna.
Aegean keeps in mind the tourism season when considering where to expand. Most of the additional flights are based in the winter months. They hope to extend the tourism season by adding flights to the outer months like April, May, and October. The new seasonal routes are going to bring much more traffic to other destinations not mentioned yet such as Luxembourg, Venice, Bologna, Naples, Catania, Malaga and Malta. It looks like Aegean is focused on Germany, Spain, and Italy. Though they do have planned increased capacity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
On comment, CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis had this to say: “We consistently and constantly respond to the significant new investments of tourism entrepreneurs who offer new upgraded hotel units, trying also from our side to contribute to the extension of the tourism period.”
With a statement like that, there is no doubt that the CEO wants Aegean to be synonymous with tourism. Thus it would seem like a bad time to start an airline in Greece. The new expansion is surely bad news for “Athens Spirit.” The new Greek airline plans to start service in April. Will they make it?
Is there enough room for both airlines in Greece?