Greece’s Athens International Airport announced (08-Feb-2010) there will be no flights to/from the airport between midnight and 2359 on 10-Feb-2010, due to a 24-hour strike of the Union of Greek Air Traffic Controllers. The strike, held with the country’s civil servants' union, ADEDY, is over the Greek Government’s plans to deal with the country’s debt, which includes wage freezes and bonus cuts for public employees (AFP/Monsters and Critics, 09-Feb-2010). Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines and Cyprus Airways have cancelled all services during the day (Famagusta Gazette, 09-Feb-2010). [more - Athens International Airport] [more - Aegean Airlines] [more - Olympic Air]
Athens International Airport air traffic control staff to hold 24-hour strike action
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One of Aegean's biggest structural challenges is the high degree of seasonality in its business. The summer quarters, particularly 3Q, are much more significant than the winter to its capacity and traffic and must generate sufficient profits to offset winter losses. Moreover, the extent to which Aegean depends on a strong summer is growing.
By contrast with Aegean, ultra LCC Ryanair, which is the second largest airline in Greece, is now enjoying year-round profitability and margin expansion. Ryanair is matching Aegean's overall rate of growth in Greece and gaining market share in the domestic market. Aegean is unlikely to see an end to downward unit revenue any time soon.
Scoot selects Athens as first route in Europe; head to head against intense Gulf competition
Singapore Airlines' (SIA) medium/long haul low cost subsidiary Scoot has confirmed Athens as its first European destination. Scoot plans to commence four weekly flights between Singapore and Athens in Jun-2017, using 329-seat Boeing 787-8s.
Scoot will need to rely heavily on connections beyond Singapore, particularly to Australia, to make the route viable. Australia has a large Greek diaspora. Scoot will not face any LCC competition from Australia or Southeast Asia to Greece but will need to overcome aggressive competition from Gulf carriers – something that full service Singapore Airlines has struggled with. But Scoot's entry pricing is very aggressive.
High load factors will be required to offset low yields but Scoot could struggle to maintain high load factors on a year-round basis, given the seasonality of the Athens market. Scoot could face similar challenges in the other European markets that it is preparing to launch in 2017.