AEGEAN reports 2011 passenger figures with international network traffic exceeding domestic for the first time in its history. More specifically, international network passengers rose by 15%, reaching 3.52 million out of total 6.5 million passengers carried in 2011.
The main feature of 2011 performance was the significant increase in activity achieved not only out of Athens Airport - where Aegean traffic also rose despite the decline in total international arrivals in Athens - but mainly out of the country’s regional airports.
Aegean operated a total of 102 international routes, flying out of 6 airports in Greece (Athens, Heraklion, Rhodes, Kos, Thessaloniki and Corfu). Markets like UK, Belgium, France, Israel and Russia registered particularly high growth rates.
As a result of the company’s strategic investment of operating direct international flights from/to regional airports, growth in international passengers reached 37% from/to Rhodes, 23% from/to Heraklion and 10% from/to Thessaloniki, reaching a total of 1.1 million international passengers.
Mr. Dimitris Gerogiannis, Managing Director, commented:
“We invest on strengthening our international presence and on supporting the Greek tourism both in Athens and in regional airports. Within the past 6 years, we have managed to triple the number of passengers traveled on our international network, despite the tough economic environment in Greece, the sharp rise in fuel prices and the significant high airport fees and taxes in Athens determined by the Greek state. Last, we are particularly thankful and honored by the fact that our passengers have provided an important vote of confidence by selecting us as the best regional airline in Europe for 2011 through the Skytrax awards.”
On the other hand, the number of passengers carried on the domestic network declined by 6% in the full year, (and by 15% in the last quarter of the year), despite AEGEAN’s promotional offers that have resulted to a 20% lower domestic average fare compared to 2007. The company also operates four Public Service Obligation routes (Athens-Sitia, Thessaloniki-Samos, Thessaloniki-Corfu and Thessaloniki-Kalamata) where it managed to increase traffic by 70% given the availability of low promotional fares and the operation of jet aircraft, despite the fact that domestic travel demand has weakened by 30% given the Greek crisis. It is highlighted that AEGEAN operates aforementioned routes without receiving any state subsidy.