Aegean Begins Gradual Resumption Of International Services

Aegean Airlines has said that it is ready to restart its international operations later this month. The flag carrier of Greece said on 14th May that it would resume limited frequency services to select destinations in Europe. That’s in addition to increasing flights on its route between Athens and Brussels. Furthermore, the airline will gradually increase frequency and capacity on its domestic routes from tomorrow.

Aegean Airlines Airbus
Aegean is ready to restart some international routes by the end of the month. Photo: Aegean Airlines

Aegean Airlines ready for international service

At the end of 2019, the carrier was hopeful for a promising year. In its full-year financial result for 2019, it announced that the Aegean Airlines Group, including Aegean and Olympic Air, had increased domestic and international passenger traffic by 7.4%. Additionally, with the addition of six new aircraft, it had hoped to increase capacity this year by 1.5m seats.

However, Aegean Airlines is only just now beginning to recover from the coronavirus.

It announced on 14th May that it plans to resume international services by the end of the month. The airline will be reinstating limited frequency flights to:

  • Geneva
  • Frankfurt
  • Munich
  • Zurich.
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Aegean’s international routes include select destinations in Europe and more frequent trips to Brussels. Photo: Aegean Airlines

All routes will fly out of Athens, where the airline has one of its hubs. In addition to this, Aegean will also increase the number of flights it operates between Athens and Brussels. Being the administrative center of Europe, Brussels was the only international destination that Aegean kept amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But before international destinations resume, Aegean plans to operate more domestic flights.

More flights operated throughout Greece

In March 2020, the number of travelers passing through Greek airports dropped by 59% compared to March the previous year. This figure was not as low as we’ve seen from some other airports around the world, perhaps because Greek airlines were trying to keep the various islands and regions of Greece connected where they could.

Aegean Airlines
Aegean has tried to keep its country connected where it can, but Greece has still lost more than half of its travelers. Photo: Aegean Airlines

Throughout the coronavirus, Aegean had been operating several services to maintain “minimal essential connectivity.” From tomorrow (18th May) the airline will be increasing capacity on the following routes to:

  • Alexandroupolis
  • Chania
  • Heraklion
  • Thessaloniki

From 25th May, Aegean also plans to increase frequency on domestic routes to:

  • Chios
  • Corfu
  • Mytilene
  • Rhodes
  • Samos.

The airline has not said by how much it will increase capacity on these routes. We contacted Aegean to find out how long it would take for its schedule to return to full capacity. However, it was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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Aegean has been able to operate repatriation flights as well as deliver PPE from China. Photo: Aegean Airlines

Keeping busy throughout the coronavirus

Despite the reduced schedule, Aegean Airlines has still kept itself busy regardless of international travel restrictions. While it hasn’t scaled down its operation quite as much as some other countries’ flag carriers, it has still operated a handful of Greek flights.

But more than that, it’s also had a role to play in the coronavirus fight in terms of delivering essential supplies and bringing home citizens.

Aegean Airlines sun setting
Despite keeping busy, Aegean is likely excited to get back to normal operations. Photo: Aegean Airlines

In a statement, the airline said:

“Throughout the entire period following the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, AEGEAN maintained a limited frequency flight service to all domestic network, aiming to facilitate minimum essential connectivity for the island’s needs and a small number of weekly flights from Athens to Brussels in order to maintain the country’s connectivity with the EU’s administrative center. It also operated, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, numerous humanitarian cargo flights for the transport of medical and pharmaceutical supplies from China to Greece and Cyprus alongside repatriation flights from various international destinations.”

That said, it will no doubt be pleased to resume regular services in the coming weeks.

Will you be taking advantage of these flights? How long will it take Aegean to reinstate its full schedule? Have your say in the comments.