|Aegean considering frequency increases and new routes to EX-YU|
Aegean Airlines is looking to add new destinations in the former Yugoslavia to accompany its existing services to Belgrade, seasonal flights to Dubrovnik and charter runs to Maribor. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, Ljubljana and Zagreb are high on the agenda for the Greek carrier, which has been expanding rapidly since its tie-up with Olympic Air two years ago. “Aegean is considering increasing frequencies on existing routes, as well as adding further destinations in the former Yugoslav region”, Aegean Airlines’ Public Relations and Press Director, Stavroula Saloutsi, says. She adds that further details regarding new route launches will be available this autumn. “Plans for summer 2016 are in progress as we speak and have yet to be finalised”, Ms Saloutsi notes.
Earlier this year, Aegean forged a reciprocal codeshare agreement with Air Serbia. Under the agreement, Aegean’s designator code and flight numbers now appear on Air Serbia’s services between Belgrade and Athens, as well as its flights between Belgrade and Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split. On the other hand, Air Serbia has placed its flight numbers and code onto Aegean Airlines' services from Athens to Heraklion, Corfu, Rhodes and Larnaca. This June, Aegean launched summer flights from Athens to Dubrovnik. The service operates three times per week with a Dash 8 aircraft and competes directly against Croatia Airlines. “Performance is satisfactory on these routes, as is the cooperation with Air Serbia”, Ms Saloutsi says.
Aegean has been eyeing several new routes in the former Yugoslavia over the past few years, including Ljubljana, Banja Luka and Zagreb. The Star Alliance member has never operated scheduled flights to Slovenia, but runs charters to both Ljubljana and Maribor. In 2013, Aegean expressed interest to operate charter services to Banja Luka with the two sides holding talks. However, it is believed airport authorities did little to meet conditions set out by the Greek carrier and the flights never materialised. Only last month, local tour operators called on the airport’s management to consider possible charters to Greece. In addition, Sarajevo Airport has expressed interest for it to be linked to the Greek capital. Meanwhile, the operator of Zagreb Airport is courting several airlines following the success it has had with bringing the likes of KLM, Swiss International, LOT and Flydubai. With hubs in Athens and Larnaca, Aegean has been expanding rapidly, adding an impressive 38 new routes this summer alone.