Olympic to cut routes and fight EC ruling on Aegean merger

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Olympic Air is to axe four international routes and bolster its domestic operations as it presses ahead with plans to appeal against the European Commission's decision to block its planned merger with Aegean Airlines.

Olympic will drop Vienna, Brussels, London and Paris from its network.

Meanwhile, it will add domestic flights from Athens to Corfu and Alexandroupolis, as well as from Thessaloniki to Heraklion, Chania, Mytilene and Rhodes.

The carrier's chief executive Thanos Pascalis tells ATI that Olympic's Airbus narrowbody fleet "will be reduced to match the required capacity", but he declines to provide any further details.

Olympic says it plans to "maintain or expand" its international services to Amsterdam, Belgrade, Bucharest, Cairo, Istanbul, Larnaca, Sofia and Tirana.

"Our new strategy obviously takes into consideration both the decision of the Competition Commission and the ongoing turmoil in the markets," says Olympic president John Karakadas, adding that "the reorganisation of our network will allow us to address more effectively the challenges that surround us".

The EC in January blocked the proposed merger between Olympic and Aegean on the grounds that it would have created a "quasi-monopoly" in the Greek air transport market.