MIG buys planes for Olympic Air

Marfin Investment Group (MIG) said yesterday its subsidiary bought eight Q400 aircraft from Bombardier for $224 million (161.5 million euros), with an option to acquire eight more to bring the contract to $468 million (337 million euros) for Olympic Air. «Our plan to build Olympic Air is being executed consistently and at pace,» the president of Marfin Investment Group, Andreas Vgenopoulos, said in a statement. «Our aim from October 1 onward is to present to our passengers a modern fleet, comprised of state-of-the-art aircraft and a new airline offering high quality services.» The initial order includes five Q400 NextGen airliners, while the additional eight options are all for the NextGen planes. Meanwhile, Aegean Airlines announced yesterday it will start a daily service to Istanbul, Turkey, from September 9, expanding its international routes. Aegean, Greece’s largest airline by passenger numbers in 2008, competes with recently privatized Olympic Airlines. The airline has been steadily expanding its routes outside Greece, adding seven destinations since late 2008, including Brussels, Berlin, Barcelona and Venice as well as Paphos in Cyprus. It will use Airbus A320 aircraft to operate the Istanbul route.