Romanian operator Animawings has disclosed plans to expand its fleet with Airbus A220s and A320neos, following Greek carrier Aegean Airlines’ divestment of its entire majority shareholding in the company.

Aegean says it has “completed the transfer” of its stake in Animawings to travel firm Memento Group, which becomes the sole owner of the carrier. Animawings specialises in services to Greek island destinations.

One of the two aircraft leased to Animawings has been returned to Aegean, the Greek airline states, and the other will be returned “in a few months”.

Animawings indicates that it will embark on a fleet expansion with 12 A220-300 and A320neo jets over the next three years, with the first two A220s arriving this summer.

It says the A220 delivery will mark the twinjet type’s “premiere” in the Romanian market.

“Animawings will increase the number of domestic and international destinations, for regular scheduled flights as well as charter flights for tour operators,” it adds. The carrier flies from Bucharest as well as nine other Romanian cities.

Animawings A220-c-Animawings

Source: Animawings

Animawings says it will receive two A220s in 2024

Acquisition of the Aegean shareholding – a stake of 51% – follows approval from the Romanian competition regulator.

Memento Group, which is affiliated with the business Christian Tour Holding, has not disclosed the precise value of the transaction but describes it as being “in the order of millions of euros”, with the negotiations and regulatory processes taking over eight months.

“Our goal now is for Animawings to become, in the immediate timeframe, the preferred airline of Romanians – and to keep the standards of Romanian aviation as high as possible,” says Memento Group shareholder Marius Pandel, who jointly owns the company with brother Cristian.

He says the A220 is a “very reliable aircraft” and currently the “star of the moment” in the air transport market. The larger A320neo will be used for routes on which greater capacity is needed.

“We will focus on the quality of services on board the aircraft, and in the airport, and offering a complete experience to Animawings passengers,” says Pandel.