Sources close to the Greek Civil Aviation Authority confirm that for the second year in a row there has been a substantial increase in large airplane entries in the Civil Aircraft Register of Greece. The growth trend is a signal for the Greek government to support the Greek aviation industry and its potential to contribute positively during a critical time for the country.
Aegean Airlines, the single major Greek air operator, has expanded its fleet by 10 AIRBUS A-320 and A-321 aircraft during the last 18 months. Aegean is expected to add even more in the coming months. Perhaps, this is not really surprising. Aegean is simply following up with its plans to seriously develop its network and establish a highly credible identity as a regional airline.
What might come as a big surprise, though, is the fact that other Greek air operators have been steadily adding large airplanes to their fleets. Hermes Airlines has added five airplanes (two AIRBUS A-320 and three BOEING 737) in the last month alone. Thessaloniki-based Astra Airlines and Ellinair have also been growing steadily during the last couple of years and are expected to complete shortly the registration and certification processes for two ATR’s and one AIRBUS A-320 respectively.
Crucial Time for Greece: Action Necessary
The developments at the Civil Aircraft Register of Greece come at a crucial time for the Greek economy, which has suffered an almost fatal setback during the last five years. The rise of large airplane entries clearly shows that the commercial branch of the Greek aviation field is still very much alive. Executives and investors may be the first professionals to see the light at the end of a dark tunnel. However, it also seems they have very specific and tangible reasons to expect a very calm and bright summer filled with congested capacities this year.
Indeed, the aviation branch of the Greek economy could lead the way out of its current dire straits. Greece has so many positive aspects that matter to the aviation industry. It is a major tourist destination, it has a unique geographical location and it has a fantastic climate all year round. These factors are extremely important to aviation activities that go way beyond the transport of tourists. If they are combined with seriously upgraded and reliable airport services, they can not only make Greece a preferred transfer point but also easily turn the country into a haven for private aviators and aviation training.
The Prospects and Goals
For the time being, let’s just assume that the Greek government will also see the potential and prospects the private sector has seen and accomplish the following:
Formulate a coherent policy for aviation that is complete with guidelines and measures to terminate bureaucracy.
Expand airport capacity and operation schedules.
Create a more favorable environment for private aircraft, helicopters and sea planes.
Accomplishing these aforementioned actions can ensure the steady growth of aviation activities in Greece. The results will help boost the overall economy at a time when such a boost is sorely needed.