May 14, 2020 / 4:30 PM / 23 days ago

Greek carrier Aegean to gradually restart overseas flights by end May

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s largest carrier Aegean Airlines (AGNr.AT) said on Thursday it will gradually restart flights from Athens to some major European destinations by the end of May, ending a suspension prompted by the new coronavirus pandemic.

Aegean, a member of the Star Alliance airline group, suspended its international flights on March 26 as a result of flight restrictions related to the coronavirus crisis.

Airlines around the world grounded flights as civil aviation authorities imposed restrictions and countries closed borders and imposed lockdowns to try to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The carrier said it will restart operations from its Athens hub to Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt and Geneva, initially with a reduced timetable. It will also add more flights to Brussels - the only international destination that had not been suspended.

Aegean will increase flights in its domestic network from May 18-25, adding capacity to destinations including Heraklion and Chania in Crete, Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis and the islands of Rhodes, Corfu, Lesbos, Chios and Samos.

“Aegean is willing to gradually and with extreme cautiousness restore its network while fully respecting the tremendous national effort to control the COVID-19 outbreak within the country,” the carrier said.

Greece was one of the effective European countries in handling the pandemic, containing the spread of COVID-19 infections to 2,770 confirmed cases and 156 deaths.

In preparation for the resumption of flights, Aegean said it has already stepped up precautionary measures, including the mandatory use of masks during flights and aircraft cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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