Aegean Airlines plans new Balkan routes

Aegean Airlines plans new Balkan routes
Greece's Aegean Airlines continues to grow its network in the former Yugoslavia for a fourth consecutive year in 2018, with three new routes to be launched this summer, while there will be further capacity and frequency increases on existing services.

EX-YU Aviation News wrote that the Greek carrier is now also considering introducing seasonal summer flights to Sarajevo in 2019.

"The former Yugoslav region is an important market for Aegean Airlines. Demand for these routes remain strong as passengers are able to travel to Athens and beyond. Our performance is satisfactory on this market, as is the cooperation we have with partner airlines in the region. Almost all flights from the former Yugoslav republics to Athens offer very good 'point to point' coverage, as well as access to thirty Greek domestic destinations, connections to Cyprus and destinations in the Middle East and Southern Italy, which have proved popular with passengers from the Balkan region. Aegean is considering increasing frequency on existing routes as well as adding further destinations in the region", the airline told EX-YU Aviation News.

This summer, the Greek carrier will add new seasonal flights to Zagreb and Zadar.

"The flights to Zagreb are initially planned as seasonal. Depending on performance we may consider a year-round operation", the airline said.

Despite its increasing focus on the Croatian market, the carrier said it is not pursuing Croatia Airlines on its home turf.

"Aegean Airlines, as a fellow Star Alliance member, cooperates closely with Croatia Airlines in many areas such as interline, interline through check-in and of course in offering frequent flyer benefits. We see them as a partner and are always open to explore opportunities to further grow our cooperation," company said.

However, despite their common interests, Aegean Airlines will compete against Croatia Airlines on the Athens - Zagreb service, with its Croatian counterpart operating the route with a stop in Dubrovnik. In addition to launching flights to Zagreb, as well as two weekly services to Zadar, Aegean Airlines will strengthen its operations to Dubrovnik this summer by operating daily flights from May 29 with a Dash 8 turboprop, up from last year's four per week. Previously, services have been maintained with a mix of Dash and Airbus aircraft. Meanwhile, from June 5, the Greek airline will introduce an additional weekly flight to Split for a total of four.

Elsewhere, Aegean Airlines plans to add services between Athens and Skopje now that the latter has renamed its airport. Services are expected to commence in June, however, they are yet to be scheduled. The airline has said this will happen once the Greek government assures them that all issues have been resolved. On the other hand, Aegean will boost capacity to Belgrade with the airline to run three weekly services to the Serbian capital with a mix of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. Although it maintained four weekly flights to Belgrade last summer, all were operated with the smaller Dash aircraft.

Furthermore, in a show of confidence to its Podgorica service, which was launched last year, Aegean will increase frequencies on the route this summer from two to three per week..../IBNA

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