The first direct flights from Sweden and Germany arrived on 9 and 10 March, respectively, while by May flights will have been gradually introduced from Kalamata to 4 destinations in Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Rostov), 2 destinations in Sweden (Stockholm and Gothenburg), Germany (Munich) and Israel (Tel Aviv), as well as the Ukraine (Kiev). When the full programme is in place AEGEAN will be operating 12 flights a week to the above destinations, using an Airbus A320/319 with cockpit and cabin crews based in Kalamata.
During the official event to mark the launch of AEGEAN operations at Kalamata the first of the company’s flights from Munich touched down – flight A3 481, carrying 100 passengers, including Messrs Eftichios Vassilakis and Achilleas Konstantakopoulos, Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board of Aegean, respectively, as well as Ms Konstantina Nikolakou, Deputy Regional Governor for Development-Projects-Regional Information.
On arrival Mr Eftichios Vassilakis made the following remarks: ‘Kalamata is now the 7th AEGEAN operational base, established in recognition of the impressive power of investment and the efforts of the various agencies involved, and the prospects for tourism in Messinia and the Peloponnese in general. Moreover, thanks to the Costa Navarino, Messinia is the first region in Greece to be opening for visitors from the beginning of March, and thereby extending the annual tourist season. It is our duty to support this exemplary initiative –which is the qualitative objective we all need to follow. At the same time, however, I am touched to see that the airport bearing the name of the late Captain Vassilis Konstantakopoulos will now be a base for one of our aircraft. Without his contribution, none of us would be standing here today’.
Among guests at the official opening were the MPs from the Prefecture Messrs Ioannis Lambropoulos and Dimitris Sabaziotis, the President of the Regional Association of Municipalities of the Peloponnese, Mr Panayiotis Nikas, the President of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT) Dr Christos Pallis, the Deputy Regional Governor of Messinia Mr Panayiotis Alevras, the President of the Chamber of Commerce Mr Dimitris Maniatis, the Metropolitan Bishops of Messinia and Trifyllia and Olympia, the Mayors of the Prefecture of Messinia, and representatives of tourist and commercial organizations. A message was read out from the Tourism Minister Ms Olga Kefaloyianni.