Aegean to add 15 international routes in 2014

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Aegean Airlines will add 15 new European and Middle Eastern destinations from eight Greek bases next year in a major expansion following regulatory approval of its acquisition of Olympic Air.

Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Hanover, Nuremberg, Oslo and Stockholm are among the destinations to which the Greek carrier will add flights. It will also open a new base at Chania on the Greek island of Crete.

As a result, Aegean and its Olympic Air subsidiary will jointly offer over 250 routes, including 205 international routes and 47 to 50 domestic routes.

Aegean aims to achieve savings of €35 million ($48 million) per year in synergies and network consolidation within "six to 14 months" of it acquiring Olympic Air.

The growth spurt follows the European Commission competition authorities assenting to the two airlines' merger plan. Aegean had previously reduced its international network in order to allay competition concerns.

Agean says its two new economy class fares – GoLight and Flex, which are due to be introduced across its international network from January 2014 – will be rolled out on Olympic flights from February.

Aegean vice-chairman Eftychios Vassilakis says Aegean will also offer cheaper fares and more capacity on Olympic’s existing public service obligation (PSO) routes to remote regions of Greece between July and September "where it is commercially and operationally feasible".

He adds that Aegean has the support of its 52,000 shareholders in the restructuring after the acquisition of Olympic Air.

"The conditions for the establishment of a stronger carrier, which will be able to stand in the highly competitive environment that has developed in the region, are created," says Vassilakis.