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Attica Group: The three Aero Highspeeds are the first step towards greening the fleet

Featured Attica Group: The three Aero Highspeeds are the first step towards greening the fleet

The construction of the three new AERO Highspeed of the Attica Group is the first step of a process of gradual renewal and energy improvement of its fleet. The official inauguration of the ships' new routes took place yesterday afternoon.

The first new ships built after 10 years

As the managing director of the company, Mr. Spyros Paschalis, speaking at the opening ceremony, pointed out, this day is very important for the Attica Group and for the Greek shipping family, since the three AERO Highspeeds are the first newly built ships that came to Greece to service main coastal shipping lines, 10 years after the last new-build ship for Greek shipping, the Blue Star Patmos, which Attica Group again took delivery of in June 2012.

With this investment we are implementing our business plan with careful steps in order to strengthen our leadership role and respond to the increased international demands of the sector. Over the course of a decade, an attempt will be made to replace the older ships of the company's fleet with new ones, Mr. Paschalis added.

Attica's investment with the local Aero Catamaran ships is an example to follow on the way to a greener shipping, said the Minister of Shipping, Yiannis Plakiotakis.

The AERO Catamarans

The three AEROs arrived from Norway in Greece on August 1, 2022 and were immediately launched on the Argosaronic lines, significantly renewing Attica fleet operating on these lines and already enjoying the preference of the passenger public.

The three AEROs were built at the Brødrene Aa shipyard in Norway. The total cost of the investment amounted to 21 million euros (7 million euros per ship) and was financed with equity and bank loans from the Norwegian lender Export Finance Norway (“Eksfin”) with the guarantee of the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (“GIEK”) and Alpha Bank who trusted Attica and contributed significantly to our development investment.

AERO Highspeed are Catamaran-type ships, with the latest technology and modern aesthetics, designed with innovative features that completely upgrade the services offered, providing the more than 3 million passengers who travel annually on the Argosaronic lines with a new, unique travel experience. With the launch of these three ships, the transport capacity to the Argosaronic destinations was increased, thus creating the conditions for the further economic development of the islands and local communities.

Each ship has a maximum speed of 32.2 knots with a full load, an overall length of 36 meters, a width of 9.7 meters and a carrying capacity of 150 passengers, while the interior layout and in general their innovative design aims to offer a high level of comfort and service to the passenger. Indicative:

• Comfortable travel even in conditions of high waves, which is ensured by innovations both in the hull of the boat and in the navigation systems

• Spacious passenger cabins with large windows for a full view and abundant natural lighting

• Luggage storage above the seats but also in specially designed spaces

• Special care to facilitate reduced mobility passengers

• Special areas for the transport of bicycles

• High standard areas for transporting pets.

During the event, Mr. Spyros Paschalis, CEO of Attica Group, also stated the following:

"The investment in AERO Highspeed vessels contributes to the reduction of Attica Group's environmental footprint and the gradual transition to a low-carbon, greener and more competitive economy, enhancing sustainable development through - among other things - low fuel consumption and reduced emissions of air pollutants due to the lighter construction material of the ships, as well as the installation of photovoltaic units (solar panels), which cover the lighting and electricity needs of the hotel services of the ships.

With this investment, we are implementing our business plan with careful steps, in order to strengthen our leadership role and respond to the increased international demands of the sector. We confirm in practice once again, our commitment to upgrade the services provided in Greek shipping, the optimal service and support of local communities, as well as the strengthening of the tourism product of our country.

In addition, the significant amount of the investment, in a period of intense economic difficulties due to the global crisis caused by the pandemic, but also the geopolitical and energy crisis in Europe, is an undeniable confirmation of our Group's long-term strategy for sustainable development while simultaneously integrating ESG principles in every new investment project and in our daily operation and at the same time a practical contribution to the national planning for the development of the Greek economy.

In closing, I would like to express my thanks to our shareholders, lenders, partners and suppliers and the passenger public for their trust, preference and cooperation over the years, as well as to Attica's land and sea employees for their dedication and the provision of high quality work that led our Group to be the largest Group in our sector in Greece, the third largest in the Mediterranean and among the ten largest in Europe".

Attica Group is active in passenger shipping through SUPERFAST FERRIES, BLUE STAR FERRIES, HELLENIC SEAWAYS and AFRICA MOROCCO LINK with a total of 35 ships that offer modern, high-level transport services in Greece and abroad. The ships of its fleet travel to 4 countries, to 60 unique destinations, approaching 71 ports, transporting over 7 million passengers, 1 million vehicles. vehicles and 400,000 trucks per year.