Following an in-depth investigation, on 9 October the European Commission announced its decision to allow the acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines.
“Olympic has never been profitable since its privatization in 2009 and has received considerable financial support from its sole shareholder, Marfin Investment Group, ever since,” the Commission said.
The Commission confirmed that that MIG would have discontinued its support of Olympic, should it not be sold to Aegean, which would have led to Olympic’s permanent shutdown in the short term.
Olympic: The End Of An Era
Olympic Air’s entrance in the Greek aviation scene in 2009 had marked the end of Olympic Airlines, Greece’s national carrier.
Olympic Airlines had been operating since 2003 as a successor to the -until then- Greek national carrier Olympic Airways.
Olympic Airways was founded in 1957 and was sold to the Greek state by the late shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1974.
However, the airline fell into steady decline under state ownership and was privatized in 2009. MIG bought over Olympic Airlines’ assets for 177.1 million euros, which included ground handling services and Olympic’s technical base.
Four years later, in 2013, the European Commission approved the acquisition of Olympic Air by rival Greek carrier Aegean Airlines.
The acquisition of the shares of Olympic Air and the assumption of management by Aegean is expected to be completed by 18 October 2013.