ATHENS, March 7 (Reuters) - Greece’s largest carrier Aegean Airlines said on Wednesday it flew 12 percent more passengers in the first two months of this year compared to the same period in 2017, mostly on international routes where traffic grew by 15 percent.
Aegean, a member of the Star Alliance airline group, improved its load factor to 81 percent from 75.9 percent in the same period in 2017. Its total flights increased by 2.0 percent.
The airline said it flew 1.48 million passengers in the two month period compared to 1.32 million in Jan-Feb last year.
“2018 started with positive signs as regards (passenger) traffic and load factors,” said the carrier’s CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis.
“The initial indications of demand for the summer period are also positive despite increased capacity by the competition,” he said.
The carrier is adding 11 new routes this year, including Basel in Switzerland, Malaga in Spain and Palermo, Turin and Bologna in Italy.
Aegean plans to renew its fleet of mostly Airbus narrow body jets and is currently evaluating the new generation Airbus A320neo family and Boeing’s 737MAX. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Ken Ferris)