Aegean Air enjoys soaring profits and passengers in 2007

Aegean Airlines, Greece’s second-largest air carrier, said yesterday net 2007 earnings rose 39 percent to -35.8 million ($52.6 million) on strong growth in passenger traffic. Aegean, which competes with state-owned Olympic Airlines, flies domestic and international routes. Passenger traffic last year grew 18 percent as the airline carried a total of 5.23 million passengers on 54,685 flights. «This year is also expected to be an important period, as by the summer Aegean will be covering six out of the seven most popular destinations from Athens, the most important new one being London, with brand-new Airbus A320/321 aircraft,» the carrier’s managing director, Dimitris Geroyiannis, said in a statement. Flights to London’s Stansted, twice daily, will start on May 15. Aegean will also launch a service to Tirana, Albania’s capital, from May 2. Its domestic network will expand with new flights to the islands of Lemnos and Cephalonia. Aegean expects to take delivery of 10 Airbus A320/321 aircraft as part of its investment program, which targets a fleet renewal with 25 new aircraft by 2010. The Airbus jets will replace 15 Boeing 737 planes. Last year, domestic traffic rose 10 percent to 3.35 million passengers, with international traffic up 35 percent to 1.87 million. (Reuters)