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PM Mitsotakis welcomes arrival of first of Aegean Airlines' new airplanes, one of 46
13 02 2020A Greek company is "proceeding with one of the largest private investments ever undertaken in Greece," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday, welcoming Aegean Airlines' first of 46 new airbus carriers ordered by the company.
"The order is of the magnitude of international giants in the sector," the premier said, and said he was "proud" to be there.
Speaking of his political presence at the reception of the aircraft, Mitsotakis said it "signals the emphasis the government places on investments, in which Greece is 8 points behind the average European rate."
After making a special mention to the late Cretan founder of Aegean Airlines Theodoros Vassilakis, the prime minister expressed the hope Vassilakis' successors "will realize his dream for an airliner that will dominate the skies of the world." Mitsotakis also spoke of the company's achievements, including being named Europe's best regional company for nine consecutive years and emphasized that over the past 20 years some 141 million passengers have made it their airline of choice. The company has an excellent safety record and has essentially become Greece's national carrier, the premier noted.
Addressing Aegean's workers, he congratulated them "on the company you have built," saying that the company employed a total of 5,100, of whom 90 pct were employed year-round. Half of them are under 35 years old, he said, and 600 of them participate in the company's profits in the form of bonuses.
"The government actively encourages enterprises focused on cutting-edge technologies, which respect human resources and follow the rules of green development," Mitsotakis said. "In this way, their profits also profit the entire society," he said of Aegean Airlines. He said the government would "support every bold business initiative by freeing it from bureaucratic shackles and the stranglehold of taxation" and called on businessmen to invest more.
In total, the airline is set to receive 46 new A320neo and A321neo aircraft by 2025, totalling 6 billion euros in list prices.
By July 2020 the company will receive a total of 6 new aircraft, has already received three so far, and will complete a fleet of 65. This will add 1.5 million seats, equivalent to 19 million seats per year in air traffic, and will expand its network to a total of 155 destinations and 44 countries in 2020.
The three new aircraft will start flying in February, with the first aircraft to operate its first Athens-Munich flight on February 14.
Aegean Airlines CEO Dimitrios Gerogiannis said "we're making a fresh start at the dawn of the third decade, with a goal of investing 500 million dollars annually for the next 6 years," and added that "every new aircraft means new jobs, more opportunities for our people, more public revenue," which translates to "every new aircraft is equivalent to 70 additional jobs, 100,000 visitors and 80 million direct revenue in tourism."
Airlines President Eftychios Vassilakis said that "we will continue into our third decade to invest and work, to deserve the confidence of our passengers, to act responsibly, in respect of the environment."
Of note, the new A320neo aircraft are equipped with the new generation of Pratt & Whitney GTFTM engines and reduce CO2 emissions by 50 pct while reducing the noise footprint by 75 pct, and also reduce fuel consumption by up to 16 pct.