Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

Aegean Airlines

Aegean Airlines

Yesterday, I received an email from Dimitris Gerogiannis, the Chief Executive Officer of Aegean Airlines. He’s not a personal friend or anything, the email would have gone out to thousands of people, but I thought it might give readers an idea of what’s happening with the airline, in case you wanted to know. Many people are worried about pre-booked holidays and wondering how and when they might get here and to other places in Greece either for a break or to visit their holiday homes, and this email doesn’t exactly help. But it’s background information about one airline from a horse’s mouth (no offence, I am sure Mr Gerogiannis is in no way equine). I’ve included the opening blurb as I thought it was rather cosy, the meat of the matter comes later in the text which is interspersed with random shots of Symi to break it up a bit.

May 11th_05

Here’s the email:

First of all, we hope that you and your family are in good health.

For all of us in the family of AEGEAN and Olympic Air, 2020 started on a high, with optimism and vision for the new year and our next steps.

Unfortunately, the unprecedented situation we have all been faced with during the last three months has forced us to give up doing what we love most, flying with you. We have had to stop flying with you, but we never stopped flying for you, stepping in to be by your side every time we were asked to, no matter how far we had to fly, to bring back to Greece whatever was needed.

Greece has successfully tackled the first phase of the health crisis, making us all very proud of what we have achieved together.

May 13th_04

In keeping with the successful national efforts made so far, we are working diligently to face the new challenges raised by the pandemic. Having as absolute priority the health and safety of our passengers and employees and in close cooperation with the authorities, we have already modified the procedures in place for boarding, both at the gate and for aircraft access, and our inflight service. We have also reinforced the protocols for cleaning and disinfecting our aircraft. The use of a face mask has become obligatory for both our passengers and our crews, and from now on, only one personal item will be allowed in the cabin. Furthermore, the last 3 rows of seats will be kept vacant in case we should need to isolate a passenger with potential symptoms. During the week, you will receive detailed information of all the protective measures and new procedures that we will be putting in place within the framework of new protocols for safe travelling.

From today, as travel restrictions to the mainland and the island of Crete have been lifted and from next week to all the Greek islands, we are ready to fly together on our domestic network.

May 13th_19

We are getting ready to gradually restore international operations in the coming weeks and months. Initially, we plan to restart operations with a limited schedule from Athens to Munich, Frankfurt, Geneva, and Zurich. At the same time, we shall increase flights operating to Brussels, which is the only international destination that we didn’t suspend. Soon, more destinations will be added.

As we adapt to a new way of travelling, we are adjusting our tickets accordingly so that you can travel with more flexibility and confidence. All new tickets issued between 18th May and 15th June 2020, and regardless of flight dates, will have the benefits of the FLEX fare category so that you can have one piece of checked luggage free of charge and also the option to change your ticket without rebooking fees.

May 11th_10

In conclusion, please be assured that we shall be constantly monitoring developments and learning step by step how to successfully and carefully progress to the next one. After all, this is what we have been doing for more than 20 years at AEGEAN, always guided by our values and having you, our passengers, as our main focus.

We look forward to travelling together again.