Greek carrier Aegean to expand European operations

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The Independent Travel

The Greek carrier Aegean Airlines announced Friday that it was starting new services this summer from Athens to Bologna in Italy and Moscow and establishing a base at Larnaca in Cyprus.

It is also offering two new flights from Thessaloniki in northern Greece to Paris and Moscow. The number of daily flights between Athens and London, Rome, Paris and Brussels will be increased, as will high-season services to Barcelona, Madrid and Venice.

The aim is to "develop the supply to the Greek public and strengthen tourism," a company statement said.

Aegean will also open an operating base at Larnaca to start flights between Cyprus and London and in high season five services to Chania in Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos and Santorini.

The decision was taken after the European Commission vetoed a merger between Aegean and other local carrier Olympic Air.

Olympic Air said earlier this month that it was going to concentrate on southeast Europe and end flights to Brussels, London, Paris and Vienna.

Instead it will operate more services to Belgrade, Bucharest, Istanbul, Larnaca, Sofia and Tirana, as well as Cairo and Amsterdam.

The European Commission blocked the merger of the two airlines, which share the Greek market, in January on the ground that it could lead to a merged airline having a dominant position and a "quasi-monopoly".

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