Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air announced (22-Feb-2010) each company's shareholders have reached an agreement to merge the two airlines, and create a new company to be listed on the Athens Stock Exchange. The agreement, which is subject to the approval of the European Competition Commission, will see the main shareholder of Aegean (Vassilakis Group) and the sole shareholder of Olympic (Marfin Investment Group) take an equal shareholding in the combined entity. The combined company will carry the name and logos of Olympic Air, with Chairman Mr Vassilakis of Aegean and Chairman Vgenopoulos of Olympic to lead the company. [more] The merger, which will create one dominant carrier in the domestic market, also involves Olympic Ground Handling and Olympic Engineering becoming 100% subsidiaries of the new company (Reuters/AP, 22-Feb-2010). The two carriers announced they were in talks on a possible cooperation in a stock exchange filing on 11-Feb-2010. The two carriers operate a combined fleet of 64 aircraft and employ 5,850 workers. Aegean operates 24 domestic and 26 international routes, while Olympic serves 41 domestic and 15 international destinations. Aegean has been accepted into and is in the process of joining Star Alliance by Jun-2010.
Aegean Airlines: “Since the first day of Aegean’s operations, we have been pursuing our vision for innovative, high quality services, through significant investments. The relative size of our competitors within the European Union necessitates the joining of the two main Greek airlines, to achieve increased autonomy in serving the needs of our country’s tourism, increase route options for consumers, ensure the long-term development and viability of the two airlines and protect the levels of employment in the sector.” Mr Vassilakis, Chairman of Aegean Airlines. Source: Company Statement, 22-Feb-2010.
Olympic Air: “The prevailing conditions in the Greek economy, as well as in the aviation sector, dictate the combination of forces in order to maintain competitive customer prices, protect levels of employment and increase our competitiveness at a European level. The merger of OLYMPIC with AEGEAN serves all of those objectives and at the same time preserves and strengthens the OLYMPIC brand name, an inherent piece of our national tradition making all Greeks very proud.” Mr A Vgenopoulos, Chairman of Olympic Air. Source: Company Statement, 22-Feb-2010.