The decision by Greece’s largest carrier Aegean Airlines to order 42 aircraft worth $5 billion (€4 billion) has been described as the biggest private investment of recent years in the country.
“It’s not just the biggest order in Aegean Airlines’s 19-year history but also the most important private investment in Greece so far,” commented German finance paper Handelsblatt.
Reuters says that “it’s one of the biggest investments by a private Greek company since the country’s debt crisis erupted in 2010”.
Aegean signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus on Wednesday which includes a firm order of 30 aircraft from the A320neo family, with an option of 12 additional jets with new-generation engines offering fuel savings of 15 percent.
“Today is a very important day for Aegean,” Vice-Chairman Eftychios Vassilakis said during a news conference. “We confirmed our commitment to improve our competitiveness by signing a deal for an order of up to 42 aircraft.”
Aegean, which flies domestic and international routes, also owns former flag carrier Olympic Airlines, which was privatized in 2013.
Last year, Aegean flew a total of 13.2 million passengers.