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Aegean Airlines Sets The Record Straight

The party is just starting," Aegean Airlines President Theodoros Vasilakis said in reference to MIG President Andreas Vgenopoulos' negative remarks in regards to Aegean Airlines being dubbed the second airline company to serve flights to Istanbul.

The party is just starting,” Aegean Airlines President Theodoros Vasilakis said in reference to MIG President Andreas Vgenopoulos’ negative remarks in regards to Aegean Airlines being dubbed the second airline company to serve flights to Istanbul.

Aegean Airlines last month rejected allegations from Olympic Air that the launch of the Thessaloniki-Istanbul route on 9 September was a result of a secret agreement between the airlines, the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Speaking at a press conference, Aegean Airlines Vice President Eftihios Vasilakis, emphasized that the agreement for a second airline to cover the Istanbul route was originally signed in 1948.

“Since 1996 the Civil Aviation Authority had the discretion to appoint a second airline apart from Olympic to cover routes outside the European Union without further approval by another institution such as the Parliament,” Mr. Vasilakis said.

The vice president of Aegean Airlines said that according to procedure, since the agreement involved non-EU countries, representatives from the Foreign Ministry were obliged to participate in the agreement.

“Aegean Airlines was appointed as that second airline on 15 July 2004 -not in 2009- and since then was trying to get a slot at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport to start flying,” Mr. Vasilakis said.

Aegean Airlines achieved this in May 2009.

In regards to which airlines would serve the 24 state-subsidized domestic routes (agones grammes), the previous government had announced that Olympic Air, as former national carrier Olympic Airlines, would continue to serve the routes until a new tender produced a winner. A tender was cancelled in September due to the announcement of early parliamentary elections in October.

Aegean Airlines then sent an out of court protest to the former transport ministry, through which the company sought clarification on the ministry’s decision to extend contracts with Olympic to serve the state-subsidized domestic routes. The airline hinted acts of favoritism from the former ministry’s side to Olympic Air.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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