Theodoros Vassilakis, the Chairman and Founder of airline company AEGEAN, passed away at the age of 78 on Thursday, May 17.
“He was a source of inspiration for all of us, from our very first flight, our very first passenger to this very day. His vision, and his values, will continue to guide us,” the company’s Board of Directors and employees stated in an announcement.
Theodoros Vassilakis represented the example of the successful, modern, self-made businessman.
Born in 1940 on the island of Crete, Theodoros in 1963 founded the T.Vassilakis SA trading products under the TEXACO brand. In 1966 he was appointed licensee for the Hertz brand on Crete and in 1972 on Rhodes. In 1974 he bought Hertz Hellas and renamed the company to Autohellas ATEE, becoming the exclusive franchisee for the Hertz brand in Greece.
In the early 1994, the Vassilakis Group acquired Aegean Aviation, a private airline, from brothers Antonis and Nikolaos Simidgalas, originally a VIP/business air operation.
In 1999 Theodoros took the step and founded Aegean Airlines, which gradually started flying in Greece and abroad and slowly began to expand.
In May 2010, Aegean Airlines became a member of the Star Alliance International Alliance and in 2013 Theodoros struck a deal to acquire Olympic Air, thus creating the largest airline in Greece.
Theodoros’ vision will be continued by his sons Eftichis and Giorgos.
His funeral will be held on Saturday, May 19, at 12:30pm at the Church of Metamorfosi Sotiros in Kifisia.
The family has requested donations to be made to the SOS Children’s Village Crete charity in lieu of wreaths and flowers.
We, at GTP, express our sincere condolences to his family.