Greek entrepreneur Theodoros Vassilakis, the founder of Aegean Airlines, has died at the age of 78.
Aegean Airlines announced his death on Thursday with the following statement:
“On behalf of our Board of Directors and the employees of AEGEAN, we would like to express our deep sorrow for the loss of our Chairman and Founder, Theodoros Vassilakis. 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.”
Aegean’s first commercial flights were in May 1999 from Athens to Heraklion.
In 2013, Aegean Airlines merged with Olympic Airlines, making the company the biggest flight operator in Greece.
In March the company announced a deal with Airbus for the order of up to 42 new generation aircraft of the A320neo family. The investment is valued at $5 billion at list prices, and it is the largest private investment in Greece.
Vassilakis, born in Crete, was also the man behind car rental company Autohellas-Hertz and car retailer Autotechnica Velmar.
His funeral will take place on Saturday in Kifissia, northern Athens.