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Aegean: Strengthens its activities outside Greece

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Claims subsidized flights from North Macedonia – Partnership with TUI France

Aegean: Ενισχyει τις δραστηιιη τΕς της εκτΕς της Ελλαδας

By Dimitris Delevegos

Aegean seeks to further strengthen its footprint as a regional air carrier. For this purpose, the airline is one of the three contenders for the project of running new subsidized international routes from Skopje and Ohrid airports to European destinations. The start of the competition was announced last December by the Minister of Transport of North Macedonia, Blagoj Bokvarski, and with the deadline for submitting bids on January 19, the contractor may be announced next week.

The remaining two air carriers claiming the specific routes are Lufthansa and Wizz Air, which has prevailed in the last three respective competitions. This time, however, according to what the Minister of Transport of North Macedonia has mentioned in a press conference in December 2022, more than one airline will be selected, which means that Aegean has an increased chance of being one of the preferred contractors. Flights will be subsidized with 7.5 euros and 4.5 euros per passenger from Skopje and St. Pavlos” of Ohrid respectively for the period from the current year until December 2025. For this year the state budget of North Macedonia foresees the amount of 1.1 million euros. Some of the criteria for selecting the carrier include serving the proposed destinations twice per week and promoting them. Today Aegean connects the airports “El. Venizelos” and “Macedonia” with Skopje with two and up to four weekly flights respectively. The total passenger traffic of the two international airports of North Macedonia was formed in 2022 at approximately 2.3 million people, according to data from the Ministry of Transport of the country.

Strengthening the activity in Southeast Europe is a strategic goal of Aegean, which media in the region show as interested in the acquisition of Croatia Airlines. The Croatian government had begun privatizing Croatia's loss-making national carrier, but the process was put on hold due to the pandemic. At the same time, from October 2021, the airline controls 51% of the Romanian Animawings. The carrier flies from ten airports in Romania to Athens, Corfu, Chania, Kos, Kefalonia, Heraklion, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Zakynthos.

More broadly, enhancing extroversion is another of its key goals Aegean. Therefore, a few days ago, the airline proceeded to renew, for three years, the exclusive cooperation with TUI France, with the alliance of the two companies counting one twenty years.

Aegean is creating a new regional base at Lille airport, France, with the aim of serving exclusively with direct flights the program of summer and winter destinations and packages of TUI France in Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Morocco, Bulgaria, Croatia and Montenegro. The airline will offer 1 million seats to and from France this summer, having transported more than 700,000 passengers last year. In this summer season, which is expected to start earlier, Aegean will connect Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion with Paris and a significant number of large French cities with regular flights and increased frequencies.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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