The increase in tourism in Greece has led to significant changes in domestic and foreign air travel. This has encouraged foreign airline companies to invest in Greece and to add new routes, competing directly with Greek airline Aegean-Olympic.
Low cost carrier Ryanair, announced yesterday its intention to strengthen its presence in Greece by creating new bases in Athens and Thessaloniki in April, offering domestic and foreign services. Ryanair officials wasted no time in pointing the finger at Aegean-Olympic for the “domestic monopoly which harms Greece’s economy.” Furthermore they stated that “Athens does not fully services the flight needs,” and “because of the high prices, flight demand decreases”.
Ryanair is betting on Greece with really cheap tickets of 12 euros for Athens to Thessaloniki.
According to Aegean, “the creation of new bases in Athens and Thessaloniki confirms the existence of an extremely competitive market within the frame of European airlines. This is exactly the reason for which the two largest Greek airline companies, Aegean and Olympic Air, were merged. The merger happened in order for a Greek airline company to develop and operate effectively so that it could represent our country in the European market.”
Ryanair is expected to offer about 154 flights from Athens and 212 from Thessaloniki, per week. The company also claims that its new expansion plans will lead to the creation of more than 1,200 jobs at its new base in Athens.