Ryanair setting up base at Greek strongholds

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Budget carrier Ryanair is to reinforce its position in the Greek market with two mainland bases located at the key cities of Athens and Thessaloniki.

The airline says the stations, taking its total to 64, will complement its base at Chania on the island of Crete.

Its Athens base will open in April 2014 with two Boeing 737-800s and six new routes to Chania, London, Milan, Paphos, Rhodes and Thessaloniki.

The base at Thessaloniki will open around the same time, and Ryanair will station a single aircraft at the northern Greek city.

Ryanair already serves several European destinations from Thessaloniki but will add Pisa, Warsaw and Athens to its network.

Its expansion in Greece comes as Aegean Airlines is establishing a revised network following its merger last year with Olympic Air.