For us in Greece Olympic Airways, Olympic Airline or Olympic Air is Olympic. Typically speaking, because that’s what really counts, on October 1st 2009, our Olympic, will be Olympic Air.
For the history, on April 30 of this year, Marfin Investment Group (MIG) signed definitive agreements for the acquisition of certain assets of Olympic Airlines and Olympic Aviation Services, and today, five month later, Olympic Air is ready to commence its aviation activities.
Within this short time-frame, a new airline was created. Anyone can understand that this could be done only by dedicated, committed and hard working people, to be exact 5,000 people. These people work for Olympic Air, the aviation company, Olympic Handling, the ground handling and cargo services company and Olympic Engineering, the maintenance, repair and overhaul company.
The company’s total investment in aircraft and spare parts is expected to reach US$1.1 billion. The company’s fleet will comprise of thirty-two aircraft of which sixteen are Airbus 319 and 320, ten are Bombardier Q400, five Bombardier Dash 100 and one is an ATR – 42. On 1st of October, 21 aircraft will be available while on 1st of November the number of aircraft are expected to increase to 25, with the remaining to come within a short period of time thereafter.
Olympic Air will fly to both domestic and international destinations.
Among the domestic destinations are: Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Alexandroupolis, Limnos, Mytilene, Chios, Samos, Kos, Rhodes, Syros, Mykonos, Santorini, Iraklion, Chania, Kefallonia, Zakinthos, Preveza, Ioannina and Corfu. In addition it has offered to fly the entirety of the peripheral destination network that falls under the Public Service Obligations regime, which are Skyros, Skiathos, Ikaria, Kalymnos, Leros, Astypalaia, Kstelorizo, Kasos, Sitia, Paros, Naxos, Milos, Kithira and Kalamata.
On the international network, Olympic Air will serve the following destinations: London (Heathrow), Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Amsterdam, Belgrade, Bucharest, Vienna, Milan (Linate), Rome (Fiumicino), Istambul, Larnaca, Beirut, Cairo, Alexandria, Sofia, Tirana and Tel Aviv.
Olympic Air’s reach goes further with the code sharing agreements between Delta Airlines, Air France, KLM, Etihad Airways and Cyprus Airways ( the long-term objective is to enter the SKYTEAM). This will give both Greek and international passengers improved access to overseas destinations and the ability to connect to Greece to other countries, thus making Greece a much more significant passenger traffic hub.
Under way to for signing are agreements with CSA-Czech Airlines, Fly Baboo, Aerosvit and Kuwait Airways.
Wow, have they been working.
And if you want to be a serious airline you need to have a frequent flyer reward program called “Travelair Club”, which will honor the frequent passengers of the former Olympic Airlines who participated in the Icarus program.
How does one book flight?
Its no brainer, you either go to a travel agent, the Olympic Air web site www.olympicair.com , the booking call center which will be operating 365 days a year between 07:00 and 23:00 Eastern European time on 801801 01 01 (from a landline) or +30 210 35 50 500 (from a mobile or overseas) or finally you purchase a ticket on Olympic Air from the ticket offices at airports.
As of October 1st , Olympic Air will have the accomplished the feat of setting up an airline in 5 months, while making an investment of US$1.1 billion in 32 aircraft, thus having one of the youngest fleet (if not the youngest around), employing 5000 people, with a global network coverage in co-operation with the largest airlines. The net result – Olympic Air will significantly upgrade Greece’s connectivity with the rest of the world.
Now, no one has an excuse not to come to Greece.