Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Aegean invests more in RHO

Aegean Airlines 2014 summer schedule has started appearing in global distribution systems as well dedicated airline routes sites and not to our surprise they finally decided to invest more in Rhodes.

As you may know Aegean flies during the last summers numerous charters from Rhodes to various airports around Europe (and Israel) but its only 3 years since they decided to open scheduled seasonal routes beginning with Larnaca in 2011, followed by Moscow in 2012 and by St Petersburg and Brussels in 2013. Moreover some routes to Munich, Paris, London and Rome with a stopover at Athens or Thes/ki were also introduced.

So for 2014 the airline decided to grow even more their RHO operations by adding more destinations and offering more flights to most of the existing ones. To be more specific here are the so far planned routes and the weekly flights offered:

Belgium: Brussels x1/week
Cyprus: Larnaca x2/week (comes back as there were no flights during 2013 summer)
Czech Rep.: Prague x1/week
France: Paris CDG x2 week (becomes direct instead of via Thes/ki)
Germany: Dusseldorf x2 week, Frankfurt x2/week, Munich x2/week (service via Thes/ki will also be available 5x/week)
Russia: Moscow DME up to x7/week, St Petersburg x3/week (+1 weekly flight)
Ukraine: Kiev x2/week

What we gladly see is that the airline will try to compete in some very competitive markets (Germany, France, Russia) while they will also give it a try in Prague which so far is duopolized and an emerging market such as Ukraine which this summer doubled visitors to RHO.

On the other hand we expected but so far have not seen services to UK, the Nordic countries and Italy which are very competitive as well flights to a couple more of emerging markets such as Turkey.

However we clearly recognize that its not easy to open up so many routes just in one summer given that Aegean was hit hard by the ongoing greek crisis limiting revenues and access to investment finances. 

Cocluding, we wish them all the best and we really hope that their (extra) careful RHO investment will not only bring back the profits forseen but also give them the incentive to grow even bigger in the following summers. Greece needs a strong airline and inbound tourism can surely feed a greek airline afterall.