Aegean Airlines President Theodoros Vassilakis recently announced new routes by the carrier from Thessaloniki during a ceremony held to christen two new Airbus A321 and A320 jets- with the names “Philoxenia” and “Exelixis” respectively- received by the airline. The ceremony was held at Thessaloniki’s International Airport “Macedonia” and was attended by Minister of Macedonia and Thrace, Margaritis Tzimas; Minister of Health and Social Solidarity, Dimitris Avramopoulos; Prefect of Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Psomiades; and many local dignitaries.
During the ceremony, Mr. Vassilakis announced Aegean’s routes from Thessaloniki to Larnaka and London and expressed the airline’s aim to connect Thessaloniki with the European hubs the airline already flies to from Athens. The president of Aegean added that following the launch of the route from Athens to Tirana last month, the airline expects to fly to Serbia next year, and after ensuring traffic rights in Russia, would commence direct flights to Moscow this year. The airline is still in the process of acquiring a route to Istanbul.
Mr. Vassilakis stressed the significance of Thessaloniki as a hub since 1.6 million of the 5.2 million passengers that Aegean Airlines carried in 2007 came through Makedonia Airport. He added that Aegean Airlines is the largest carrier both for domestic and international flights at Thessaloniki International Airport with a share of some 40 percent of all passenger traffic. Aegean Airline’s president also announced that by November 2008 all international flights from Thessaloniki would be conducted with a new Airbus from the fleet of 27 new Airbus aircraft the airline anticipates to acquire by 2010.