Flybe (Exeter) will wet lease and operate four of its Bombardier DHC-8-400s (Q400s) for the newly-reorganized Olympic Air (Athens). The turboprops will be operated from August 2009 through September 2010.
Pantheon Airways (Athens) will operate eight Bombardier DHC-8-400s (Q400s) for the newly-reorganized Olympic Air (3rd) (Athens). MIG Aviation 3 Limited, a subsidiary of the Marfin Investment Group Holdings S.A. of Greece, has signed a firm order for eight DHC-8-400s., including five updated Q400 NextGen airliners. The new airliners will be leased to Pantheon which will operate the aircraft in OA’s updated colors.
Previously on March 6, 2009, Greece’s Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis announced the sale of the flight operations and the technical companies to MIG. MIG announced it would assume Olympic Airlines’ ground handling operations. After 35 years of state control and 10 years of failed sale attempts, Olympic Airlines (previously Olympic Airways) will once again become a private airline and company. MIG also purchased the assets of paper airline Pantheon Airways and some of the assets of Olympic Airlines (2nd) including aircraft, facilities and slots at Brussels, Bucharest, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York, Paris and Rome. The sale also included the “Olympic” name and brand including the six rings logo. MIG also acquired the leases of two hangars at Athens and Olympic Airways Services, the cargo unit and other facilities at Athens International Airport for 25 years. MIG has also created Olympic Handling which will handle all ground handling services starting in July. The new airline, now named Olympic Air (3rd), will begin operations on October 1, 2009.
Aegean Airlines (Athens) has made a surprise last-minute bid for state-owned Olympic Airlines (Athens). Aegean presented a bid of $113 million for the OA’s operations and $25 million for the ATH base. This new bid outbids the prevailing single bid by the Marfin Investment Group. Aegean also bid $75 million for the new Pantheon Airways set up as a paper airline by the government of Greece to take over OA’s operations debt-free. This move by Aegean is seen as a strategy to consolidate airline operations under one brand in Greece. Aegean has gradually been taking away market share from OA. If successful, which brand will survive?