EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that “It is clear that, due to the ongoing Greek crisis and given Olympic’s own very difficult financial situation, Olympic would be forced to leave the market soon. We approved the merger because it has no additional negative effect on competition.”
He also said that “Finally our market investigation has also shown that there is no other credible purchaser interested in acquiring Olympic. There has also been no expression of any credible interest in the acquisition of Olympic’s very few assets. This extends to the brand, which is owned by the Greek state.”
The hairman of Aegean Theodoros Vassilakis said that the acquisition of Olympic Air is expected to be completed by Oct. 18 and the transaction will cost 72 million euros, of which 20 million euros have already paid. The two companies will retain their brand name and logo along with their separate flight program and fleet.
The employees on Olympic Air fear the possibility to lose their jobs and complained the merger won’t reduce costs as much as stated. Olympic Air Chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos said that the prevailing conditions in the Greek economy dictate the combination of forces to maintain competitive customer prices, protect levels of employment and increase our competitiveness at Europe.
The company will host a press conference on Oct. 23 to present its customer offering and development plan as well as its 2014 network plans.