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Aegean Invests in Four A321neos for Long Distance Routes

The Greek airline is looking to expand its route network.

Aegean’s first A321neo seen resting at Athens International Airport. (Photo: Konstantinos Chatzigeorgiadis)

Aegean will take delivery of four Airbus A321neo aircraft equipped with extended-range capabilities. These aircraft will be used to service routes outside of the European Union (EU). In addition, the aircraft will feature new high-comfort configurations.

The extended-range aircraft will operate routes outside of Europe, where flight times are between four and seven and a half hours in duration. The strategic decision to invest in these specially adapted aircraft creates a sub-fleet of A321neo aircraft which Aegean plans to use to extend its reach.

Expansion Opportunities for Aegean

The Athens-based airline states that this special-purpose sub-fleet of A321neos will operate services to destinations in the Gulf. This includes Dubai, Riyadh, and Jeddah and other potential new destinations including Bahrain, Doha, and Oman. The specially adapted aircraft could also be deployed on routes to Central Africa such as Lagos, Nigeria; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Nairobi, Kenya.

Since the aircraft will be equipped with additional fuel tanks, providing operational capability for flights up to seven and a half hours, it would also be possible for Aegean to fly to destinations in Asia including Delhi and Mumbai in India and Almaty in Kazakhstan. Due to longer flight times, these non-EU destinations are generally served from European capitals, by airlines using aircraft with higher comfort levels and lower seat density than the typical intra-European cabin configuration.

Aegean CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis said, “We believe in the great opportunity for Aegean and for our country that lies in developing markets beyond the EU, either in the Gulf area, Africa, or in regions of Asia which could be served with a special, extended range, version of the A321neo given our location in the southeast edge of Europe.”

With these new aircraft and quality service, Aegean Airlines aims to serve and develop such markets with an appropriately upgraded product. The new upgraded specially adapted aircraft will be delivered to the carrier in 2026 and 2027.

Improved Comfort Levels

The cabin configuration for the four narrowbody aircraft will be significantly improved. These A321neos will offer higher levels of comfort for both Economy and Business Class passengers. The seat count will be reduced from 220 seats – typically seen on Aegean’s standard A321neo aircraft, to less than 180 seats.

Additional features will also include satellite connectivity, in-flight entertainment (IFE screens) in every seat, and a premium lie-flat seat in Business Class. Gerogiannis said, “We further recognize the necessity of a cabin with significantly higher comfort and experience features to effectively represent Aegean’s service values, for our passengers in these markets. We are making a significant investment in the extended range and a totally new level of comfort for an initial four aircraft sub-fleet to give our crews the right tool to best represent Aegean values for these longer flight markets.”

A Special Sub-Fleet

Late last year, the Greek carrier exercised options on three additional Airbus A321neo aircraft under a purchase agreement with Airbus. The airline has now proceeded, converting this to a firm order for five A321neo aircraft instead of previously ordered A320neos. Converting these options to orders will take the total number of A320/321 family aircraft already received or on order to 50, of which 29 are the A321neo variant.

Among the 29 A321neos, 25 will come with the current standard configuration while four will be upgraded with the new “special purpose” longer range capabilities and higher comfort configurations for Aegean’s longer distance flights. To date, 28 Airbus 321/321neo aircraft have been delivered, while a further 22 are expected to be delivered between 2024 and 2028.

“It’s one more big step towards growing our reach and capabilities and we look forward to welcoming our passengers from these markets to this new level of experience with us in the years to come.” Gerogiannis added.

Lorne Philipot

Author

  • Lorne Philipot

    Lorne is a South Africa-based aviation journalist. He was captivated and fascinated by flying from the day he took his first airline flight. With a passion for aviation in his blood, he has flown to destinations in all corners of the globe. Lorne has traveled extensively and lived in various countries. Drawing on his travels and passion for aviation, Lorne enjoys writing about airlines, routes, networks, and new developments.

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