Greece’s largest airline AEGEAN, on Friday sealed an agreement with Airbus, for the purchase of 30 A320neo Family aircraft, during a ceremony held at the Athens Airport.
More specifically, the deal foresees the purchase of 10 A321neos and 20 A320neos, with the option for 12 additional aircraft, and follows an earlier Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2018.
The agreement was signed by AEGEAN Chairman Eftichios Vassilakis, the company’s CEO Dimitris Geroyiannis and Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders in the presence of prominent personalities from the fields of politics, tourism and entrepreneurship, as well as media representatives.
Valued at $5 billion at list prices, it is the largest private investment in Greece, according to AEGEAN. The company currently operates a fleet of 49 Airbus aircraft (37 A320s, 11 A321s and 1 A319).
With the investment in new generation Airbus A320neo aircraft, we strengthen our competitiveness and provide a platform that empowers our people to further improve service to our passengers as well the, important, first impression we provide to visitors of our country.”
“We invest in the bestselling A320neo Family to enhance our competitiveness and to further improve the services we offer to our passengers, travel farther to new destinations and continue to improve the world’s first impression of Greece,” Eftichios Vassilakis said also adding that AEGEAN contributes with 350 million euros annually in fees and taxes to the Greek state coffers.
The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family and seats between 185 and 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances and cabin innovations, the A321neo can fly up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 kilometres) non-stop – further than any other single-aisle airliner.
“AEGEAN Airlines is a great example of a resilient and superbly managed airline. It has weathered the country’s financial crisis and come out of it much stronger than before. Moreover, AEGEAN’s customer focus and attention to service excellence have made the company one of the most awarded airlines in terms of customer satisfaction,” Airbus’ Tom Enders said during the signing of the agreement.
Apart from investing in new aircraft, AEGEAN is also focusing on the young generation of pilots and cabin crew, and will proceed with the establishment of an education center at the Athens International Airport, with the contribution of Airbus in resources and know-how. An investment of 30 million euros, the center will include flight simulators and will be ready to open its doors in less than two years.
Furthermore, the Greek carrier in 2018 and 2019, will offer 100 scholarships to young candidate pilots, covering up to 90 percent of the cost of their studies in two of Greece’s leading pilot academies, Egnatia Aviation and Global Aviation.