Aegean Airlines S.A. is the second largest Greek airline based in Athens. It operates scheduled services from Athens and Thessaloniki to other major Greek destinations as well as to a number of European destinations. Its main base is Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, Athens, with a hub at Thessaloniki International Airport.
Aegean Airlines was founded as Aegean Aviation in 1987. It was originally a VIP/business air operation specializing in executive and air ambulance services. On 17 February 1992, it became the first airline to be issued with a Greek independent air operator's licence. After it was bought by Vasilakis Group in 1994, Aegean Aviation commenced VIP flights from Athens all over the world with wholly owned Learjet aircraft. The Aegean Airlines title was adopted with the start of scheduled passenger services at the end of May 1999.
Its first commercial flights were from Athens to Heraklion, Crete and Thessaloniki, Macedonia, with 2 brand new wholly owned BAe 146/RJ100. Also in 1999, Aegean bought Air Greece. After an agreement in March 2001 to merge Aegean and Cronus Airlines, it operated for a while as Aegean Cronus Airlines until full integration. Since 2005, the airline has been in partnership with Lufthansa, offering participation to the Miles & More program, and its flights, except from its A3 code, also have the Lufthansa LH code. In March of 2006, Aegean Airlines also agreed with TAP Portugal in a co-operation agreement.
The airline is owned by Laskaridis Group (25.3%), Vassilakis Group (45.2%), B Konstantakopoulos (8.3%), D Ioannou (8.1%), G David (6.3%) and Piraeus Bank (5.9%) and has 1,609 employees (at March 2007).
Aegean Airlines flies to 13 international and 17 Greek destinations and as a partner of International airline Lufthansa, Aegean has access to Lufthansa's global network.