ECONOMY

Aegean wants bid for buyout speeded up

Aegean Airlines has requested that the European Commission speed up the examination of its application to buy out rival Greek carrier Olympic Air from Marfin Investment Group, the country’s leading airline announced on Wednesday in the context of a presentation of its third-quarter financial results.

It usually takes between four to six months for the competition arm of the Commission to examine such a demand and issue its verdict, a period of time that is ill afforded for Aegean.

In the year to September, Aegean posted losses of 8.67 million euros, against losses of just 2.72 million in the first nine months of 2011. Turnover dropped by 5 percent year-on-year, amounting to 511.3 million euros.

Total passenger traffic went down by 6 percent from the same period last year, as it did not exceed 4.9 million passengers. There was a 1 percent decline in traffic on international flights and a considerable 13 percent fall on domestic flights. Its promotional offer of cheaper tickets for domestic flights brought an increase in occupancy rates, from 69.2 percent last year to 73.9 percent this year to September, Aegean suggested.