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Aegean boosts seating capacity to 13 million

By Alexandra Kassimi

Greece’s largest carrier by passengers, Aegean Airlines is strengthening its presence in the domestic and international markets this year while aiming at the creation of an extra 2,400 jobs by the start of the summer season.

Aegean announced on Thursday it has expanded its capacity for the whole of this year by 1.15 million seats to a total of 13 million seats, while maintaining eight hubs in Greece with the addition of its new one at Hania.

During the announcement of its summer schedule, Aegean confirmed the operation of 205 international and 51 domestic routes, with 6.6 million available seats for 33 Greek destinations and another 6.4 million for 81 overseas destinations.

As a part of its expansion program, the airline has boosted its fleet with another five Airbus aircraft, taking the total count to 50 planes, including those of its subsidiary, Olympic Air.

This summer Aegean will link Greece with 17 new destinations and five new countries (Jordan, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Sweden).

The company’s outward-looking policy during the crisis in Greece – i.e. from 2008 to 2013 – has seen it almost double its international passenger traffic from 2.2 million in 2008 to 4 million last year.

The airline’s plans are actively strengthening Greek tourism given that it is increasing its seat capacity to and from Germany by 20 percent compared to last year to reach 1.3 million for 2014, adding 12 new routes and flying to nine destinations in Germany from six Greek hubs.

Seats to and from France have increased by 13 percent to 563,500, while capacity on flights to and from Russia has grown by 17 percent this year as the seats available number 615,000 in 2014.

Even domestic passenger traffic, which had dropped considerably due to the crisis, is showing recovery signs, as in the year to March 25, passenger numbers grew by 125,000 from last year to reach 860,000 on the back of more competitive fares and the synergies that emerged from the acquisition of Olympic.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday March 27, 2014 (23:07)  
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