Greece’s flagship carrier Aegean Airlines announced on October 14th that it has increased its shareholding in Romanian leisure airline Animawings from 25% to 51%. This will be followed by an increase in Animawing’s fleet size and support in the carrier’s operations by Aegean. Let’s find out more.
Aegean Airlines has increased its share in Romanian carrier Animawings to 51%. Photo: Animawings
egean now a majority shareholder
Animawings was founded in 2020 by Memento Group – the owner of Romania’s leading tour operator Christian Tour. In March 2020, Aegean Airlines announced an investment of €412,000 (approx. $477,000) for a 25% stake in the company. The leisure carrier began operations in July 2020 with a flight from Bucharest to Thessaloniki using an Airbus A320.
Now, in the second phase of investment, Aegean Airlines has increased its stake to 51%, bringing the total investment to €1.3 million (approx. $1.5 million).
Aegean initially invested €412,000 last year in Animawings for a 25% stake. Photo: Getty Images
Dimitris Gerogiannis, CEO of Aegean, sees massive potential in the partnership, stating,
“We strongly believe in the potential of the Romanian market and in the capabilities of our partner Memento Group. We will continue with careful steps, gradually, focusing on quality services for Animawings passengers and, as always, we will focus on supporting Greek tourism. Strong and long-lasting partnerships are part of our DNA and we consider them a precondition for the new post-pandemic era.”
Aegean Airlines has had a long business association with Christian Tour. The Romanian tour operator has been a customer of Aegean for more than a decade, providing valuable business to the carrier through charter flights from Romania to Greece.
This further consolidation between the two companies will mainly cater to leisure travelers in Romania through charter and scheduled flights. The schedule for 2022 will be announced next month and is likely to further boost tourism to Greece and the Mediterranean region.
By the summer of 2022, Animawings is expected to operate three airplanes from the Aegean fleet. Currently, it uses a single Airbus A320 aircraft, which is leased from Aegean as well.
Aegean will also provide management support to Animawings, including overseeing operations. Photo: Animawings
Aegean will not only help Animawings with fleet consolidation but also provide management support, overseeing operational activities. However, Memento Group will continue to handle the remaining divisions, including commercial aspects.
Cristian Pandel, Founder of Animawings and President of Memento Group, elaborated on the partnership with Aegean, stating,
“Animawings is ready to move into the second phase of its development and we are very confident that expanding the partnership with AEGEAN will bring many benefits in imposing our company as a top player on the local and regional aviation market. AEGEAN’s involvement will continue and increase in the next period, bringing support and know-how in all departments of our company, through specialists with extensive experience in various processes and systems specific to aviation.”
Even though Aegean has become a majority shareholder in the company, Pandel said that Animawings is still a Romanian product at its core,
“Animawings will remain a Romanian company, with its operational center in our country along with all the other divisions of the Memento Group and will continue to operate, proudly, under the Romanian flag.”
Have you flown Animawings before? What do you feel about the partnership between Aegean Airlines and the Romanian carrier? Do share your comments below.
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