Aegean raises seat availability by 6-7 percent

Aegean raises seat availability by 6-7 percent

Aegean Airlines may have its sights fixed on this summer season, but it is also making long-term plans that will give the carrier increased flexibility.

Oversubscribing the bond it issued early last month is one of the weapons in its management’s arsenal, strengthening the firm’s negotiating position as it discussed the funding of the new aircraft delivery with its creditors.

Competition with foreign carriers has peaked, meanwhile, leading certain players to leave the country. Aegean’s main rivals in the domestic market are Sky Express and Volotea, with the latter strengthening its presence, while Ryanair has been forced to depart. However, shifts in the country’s tourism trends point to a different year.

“We maintain some optimism for the upcoming summer season,” Aegean’s chief executive officer, Dimitris Gerogiannis, tells Kathimerini. “It is certain that the country’s performance will not be similar to previous years, as growth will be smaller. Athens will show a relative expansion, but the rest of the country will remain stagnant or record a marginal advance. We have increased our seat availability by 6-7 percent, mainly spreading them across the start of the summer and the end of the tourism season.”

Crete and Rhodes are two of the destinations with a reduction in air seats for this year, probably due to the saturation recorded on these islands in terms of arrivals.

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