BTW here is the press release from Aegean´s homepage:
AEGEAN AIRLINES and CRONUS AIRLINES have decided to join forces. The move comes after a period of dynamic development of both companies in parallel courses. The proposed merger is aimed at strengthening the market position of the companies and enhancing the capability to face the competitive challenges. AEGEAN and CRONUS management have reached an agreement that, pending regulatory approval, they will merge the two airlines.
The merger objective is to leverage the complementary nature of each carrier’s network and to gain from the strengths of each airline in its respective markets, both domestically and internationally. As part of the effort for improved utilization of its fleet, CRONUS will initially focus on the international routes, as well as the charter activities. AEGEAN, will initially concentrate on the Greek domestic network, where better coverage and frequency is provided.
Once the merger is complete, the joint company will be the single largest privately owned air carrier in Greece. In 2000 the two companies had over 50 billion GRD (approx EUR 147 million) in sales. During the same period, in excess of 2.8 million passengers were flown, 2.4 million of which were on Greek domestic flights. The two companies account for nearly 40% of the Greek domestic air travel market.
At this point it should be noted that the share-holders of both companies have invested in excess of 30 billion GRD (EUR 88 million) for the acquisition of new aircraft, valued at more than 60 billion GRD (EUR 176 million). The combined capital investments, passenger traffic and turnover create better opportunities for economies of scale. This means that further investment in know-how will be feasible and the development of new and innovative services will be more cost effective while seat operating costs will fall.
It is worth noting that the joint company will have:
- A fleet of 15 airliners (6 owned) and 2 private jets. In detail: 6 Boeing 737-300/400s configured at 136, 148 and 156 seats. 6 Avro RJ-100s with 100 seats each, and 3 ATR-72s with 70 seats. The VIP charters are flown with 2 Learjet 55s. - On a daily basis over 130 flights will be flown on 23 separate routes. - A network of 19 destinations will be served. Eleven in Greece and 8 in Europe, covering major destinations in Germany, England, France and Italy. - The available seats during 2001 are expected to exceed 4 million.
Some of the innovative services provided by both companies include:
- Business Class service with special privileges - Nationwide reservations call center for Greece - Online (internet) reservations and ticket sales - Mobile phone WAP services - Home delivery of tickets for purchases within Greece - Round-trip check-in for same day trips - Travel package deals
Both companies have received awards that certify their operational and technical standards as well as reliability, punctuality the quality of services provided. Awards have also been received in recognition of the companies’ commercial success growth and fleet structure. AEGEAN AIRLINES received the Bronze Award Airline of the Year 2000/01 by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).
Once the merger is concluded the current shareholders of AEGEAN AIRLINES will hold 77.5% of the shares. The owners of CRONUS AIRLINES will participate with 22.5%. The share holders of the joint company will include the Th. Vassilakis Group, the Laskarides Group, Minoan Lines, the businessman Mr. D. Ioannou, Mr. Constantakopoulos, Mr David, as well as Piraeus Bank Venture Capital. The above percentages are proportional to the invested capital in the two companies. Mr. Theodore Vassilakis will be the President of the merged company.
The merger will be completed once the relevant approval has been granted by the Competition Commission of the Greek Ministry of Commerce. The joint company will continue operating with both commercial brands for a substantial period of time, up until the merger is fully acknowledged by the traveling public of each company.