The FINANCIAL -- Following success in both its domestic and international networks,
Aegean Airlines, the largest Greek airline, has expanded its network to
Athens and Tbilisi will soon be connected by two flights a week. Aegean Airlines will start flights from June 11.
Direct flights to Athens will operate from Tbilisi International Airport . The airline is offering passengers a wide choice of international and domestic flights. Passengers will have the choice between business and economy class seats. Passengers will be able to taste traditional Greek food and a wide range of Greek wine as part of the in-flight menu.
Aegean Airlines hopes that many Georgian passengers will choose to fly with the Greek airline. The company’s management expects flights to be working at full capacity.
“We expect increased customer flow. We have observed the market and we believe that lots of Georgian and Greek tourists will use our service,” said Valerian Chedia, Director of Aegean Georgia. “This company is a symbol of quality. Aegean Airlines has made the greatest progress since its establishment. It has the newest airplanes,” he added.
“We are planning to provide travel packages from Greece to Georgia. We have created special weekend tours for tourists from Greece. That means that Greek tourists will be able to spend their weekends in Georgia and fly back to their home country on Mondays. We are offering very beautiful and interesting destinations in Greece for Georgian tourists to visit as well,” Chedia added.
“This air company will strengthen relations between Georgia and Greece. It will facilitate tourism because both countries are very beautiful,” said Eleftherios Anghelopoulos, Ambassador of Greece in Georgia. “There is a strong Georgian community in Greece, so there is huge potential to develop tourism between the two countries. The new airline will facilitate Greek tourists coming to Georgia. In Greece people do not know about Georgia. They do not know that Georgia is a very beautiful country and that Tbilisi is a very beautiful city. So with a proper plan and project Georgians can easily attract Greek tourists. Georgia is developing very quickly economically and socially. This airline will be a link between the two countries, helping to develop business and economy,” he added.
“There is always a possibility to explore and this is what we do,” said Konstantinos Alexandrou, International Sales Manager of Aegeon. “We try to explore more destinations, new destinations. This is a great opportunity to enter Georgia right now. Especially now that summer is coming and tourist activities will be increased,” he added.
“The crisis in Europe and Greece will not disturb Aegean’s operation on the Georgian market. We are currently facing some problems, but we expect them to be resolved in the near future. The size of the Georgian community in Greece was the first thing that we gauged to determine whether to start flights to this particular destination. We are going to increase the number of our flights from two a week to four or even more,” Alexandrou added.
“The entrance of different air companies in Georgia will support the development of tourism in the country,” said Gigi Ugulava, the Mayor of Tbilisi . “Georgia has huge potential for tourism and this has been proven by the statistics. In 2011 the country had 2 million and 800,000 visitors, which is 40 percent more compared to the year before. I can remember that only 675,000 people crossed Georgia’s borders in 2007. In the first quarter of 2012 there has been 45 percent increase compared to the same quarter of last year. Such tourism activity helps development of the economy as well,” he added.
“The amount of money left by visitors in 2011 amounted to 900 million USD. There was a lack of direct investments after the war and during the crisis. In such a situation direct investments are replaced by the money left by the visitors. So the entrance of such companies like Aegeon is justified in terms of business development,” Ugulava added.
Aegean Airlines is a member of Star Alliance and is the largest Greek airline in terms of the number of passengers it transports; 6.5 million passengers in 2011. The airline company began regular flights in 1999. The company provides full service and high quality regional and medium-duration flights. The company invested in the newest A320/A321 type of aero buses. Aegean also invested in technical support and personal trainings. Currently Aegean Airlines’ air fleet consists of 29 modern jetliners, while flights from Athens will be carried out to international destinations as well as in the local market. The average age of its aircrafts is 3 years.
Aegean was awarded with the SKYTRAX 2011 World Airline Award as the top Regional Airline in Europe.