Two of Greece’s major travel enterprises took the plunge last month and started off the new year with a merger announcement. Panagiotis Zerzivilis of Aktina Travel and Giorgios Economou of Marine Tours said they merged their consolidation departments and formed a new company called Aktina-Marine AE.
The new company joins with the other companies of the “group” to cooperate in all areas of travel and tourism, they said. In the meantime, the group’s main companies, Aktina and Marine, remain as individual companies.
Aktina Marine acts a general provider of services to IATA and non-IATA travel agencies, said the partners of the new company. “This means that as well as air ticket services we offer hotel bookings, packages and technological support to all our registered clients.”
Cooperation includes the areas of sales, clients and supplier packages, as well as the launch of new products, they said. Consolidation departments of both companies will move to new offices in downtown Athens (Nikodimos and Nikis) around the end of March.
The merger of the companies’ consolidation departments was constructed on a clear 50/50 basis, Mr. Zerzivilis and Mr. Economou told GTP. The management of the new company, which received an equal amount of investment funds from each partner, will be a kind of “round table” system between the administrations of both companies.
As for a possible expansion of the merger agreement, they said that for the moment “we want to focus on constructing this project in the best way possible, but the possibility for a full merger exits and it will take place gradually and only when the conditions ripe.”
Asked about the possibility of other such mergers in the sector, they said that the Greek market is a peculiar one, which makes it difficult – but not unthinkable – for foreign companies to enter the market. “As far as our Greek colleagues are concerned, our wish is they do what is in their best interests,” said the two friends and business partners. The relationship between Aktina and Marine is an old one. Panagiotis Zerzivilis and Giorgios Economou had been partners decades ago when they first began their travel careers and have remained both business and family friends since.
Aktina Travel, in business since 1975, has its head office in Pireaus -a huge company-owned office building- and another nine branch offices (Attica area, Patras, Larissa), including an office at the new Athens International Airport. A full subsidiary company, Gold Star Ltd., was established in1991 and represents the airlines Gulf Air, TAP Air Portugal, VASP Brazilian Airways and Jet Airways. Aktina has continually received quality awards of distinction and cooperates with airlines and tourism enterprises worldwide. It has heavily invested in technology, which includes an in-house computer system connected on-line with various providers, as well as several international computer reservation systems. Aktina, with well over 100 employees, has continually held the position as being the country’s number one travel and tourism company in air ticket sales revenue.
Marine Tours is a modern, dynamic, fast growing travel and tourism company that has earned, over the 20 years of its existence, the respect and confidence of the Greek tourism market. Established in 1980, Marine Tours’ first office began operating in the Piraeus area to serve the traveling needs of shipping companies located around the Piraeus harbor. Marine Tours gradually widened its range of tourist services and is, today, active in all the fields of the tourism industry both at home and abroad.
Besides its head office in downtown Athens, Marine has five branch offices, two of which are located in the Athens area, one in Piraeus, one in Glyfada, and one in Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion, Crete. All are full members of IATA, and operate independently to provide all services available, but under the supervision of the company’s head offices. Marine Tours cooperates with 350 travel agencies in Greece and around the world.