ATHENS, Greece - May 26th, 2009 - The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance has accepted the membership application of Aegean Airlines of Greece. This was announced today at an official press conference held in Athens.
Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance said: “Aegean Airlines is a welcome addition to the Star Alliance network. Its home market Greece is of strategic importance due to its geographic position in the Eastern Mediterranean, acting as the main south-eastern access point into the European Union. Through the Aegean Airlines’ network, our customers will in future gain access to numerous destinations in Greece as well as have more choice on routes within Europe.”
Publicly listed Aegean Airlines began operations some 10 years ago and now operates a fleet of 31 aircraft covering a total of 47 domestic and international routes on 200 daily flights. Specifically 23 routes in Greece are covered, as well as a further 24 international routes. In 2008, Aegean became the largest Greek airline in terms of passenger numbers.
Theodore Vassilakis, Chairman of Aegean Airlines said: “Becoming a member of Star Alliance represents both an honour and a great opportunity for our company. In the near future our customers will be able to enjoy the network, privileges and loyalty rewards of the largest and most recognised airline alliance in the world. As we continue to grow in our network and further develop our services, we are committed to become valuable contributors to this great alliance.”
Through its future membership in Star Alliance, Aegean Airlines will gain access to the many markets across the globe with large communities of Greek descendants, such as Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United States. By the same token, more business travellers based in Greece will in future benefit from the Star Alliance customer proposition: world-wide reach through the extensive network, seamless travel and status recognition through the frequent flyer programmes.
The integration teams from Aegean Airlines and Star Alliance will begin the integration work shortly, which is estimated to take around 12 months.
Once this process is complete, the Star Alliance network will encompass a total of 26 carriers (current 21 and confirmed future members Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM) and three regional member carriers (Adria Airways, Blue1 and Croatia Airlines), offer a choice of more than 1,000 destinations in 176 countries being served by 21,000 daily flights.
About Star Alliance:
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance received the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award in 2008 and was voted Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller Magazine in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and by Skytrax in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The members are Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 17,000 daily flights to 916 destinations in 160 countries.
About Aegean Airlines:
Aegean Airlines is a full service airline, having a leading domestic position in Greece and a growing presence in international scheduled routes between Greece and destinations in Europe and neighboring countries. In 2008 Aegean carried 6 million passengers, an increase of 14% over 2007. The company currently operates a fleet of 31 aircraft with an average age of 2 years in its scheduled flights. Aegean performs scheduled flights to 17 Greek destinations (Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes, Kos, Samos, Mytilene, Chios, Alexandroupolis, Mykonos, Santorini, Kavala, Limnos, Corfu, Ioannina and Kefalonia) and 18 other International destinations (London, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Venice, Larnaca, Paphos, Cairo, Sofia, Bucharest, Tirana). Aegean is also a Regional Partner of Lufthansa providing access for its passengers to Lufthansa’s global network. Within its ten year scheduled services history AEGEAN has been awarded six times by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in recognition of its operating performance, commercial success and commitment to customer comfort and satisfaction. Additionally, AEGEAN has been repeatedly awarded by the Athens International Airport as the single largest contributor to the airport’s passenger growth. AEGEAN recently received the Skytrax World Airline award as the best regional airline in Europe for 2009.