Cheaper airline tickets for Greeks who live abroad with Olympic Air-Cyprus Airlines

13th issue In-On

“The cooperation between Olympic Air and Delta Airlines for the North America market is already supported, since from the coming June 2011 the passengers of the two airlines will be able to collect miles in the code share flights” underlined in a press conference to “In-On” magazine the Executive Chairman of Olympic Air Mr. Giannis Karakadas.
Thus -he continued- the Greeks abroad will be able to visit Greece more often paying less.
Regarding the flights to Crete he mentioned the recent cooperation with “Cyprus Airways” where there is a connection with Larnaca – Herakleion – Larnaca, Larnaca – Chania – Larnaca and Herakleion – Rhodes and the passengers could collect miles in the code share flights.
Question: What are the benefits that the passengers gain due to the cooperation with  Cyprus Airways and more particularly what are the benefits for Crete?
Answer: As one can see the benefits are numerous. It is not only the fact that the cooperation with the Cyprus Airways will differentiate Olympic Air towards competition. More importantly, it is the fact that it offers smart solutions and dynamic choices to the passengers, giving the potentiality for cheaper fares. Just think that the agreement covers 364 domestic flights a week in a total of 38.500 offered positions.
It is important for us and for the public as well, the linking customer loyalty programs of the two companies (TRAVELAIR & SUNMILES), from June 2011. Thus, the passengers will have the opportunity to earn miles traveling on the airline of their choice (either Olympic Air or Cyprus Airways) and redeem miles for free tickets to the network of the two companies.
Undoubtedly, it should not remain unnoticed that the markets share of capacity in the line Athens- Larnaca increases; therefore, there are greater choices for the travelers. It has to be mentioned that both Cyprus Airways and Olympic Air offer the 63% of the total number of flights between Athens – Larnaca.
In 2010, 505.000 passengers entrusted the two companies offering a market share of 62%.
Today, we can return their trust providing a better flow of passenger traffic at junctions Athens and Larnaca, offering a transit time of 1 hour, simplification of the procedures for handling of passengers at the airports of Greece and Cyprus and an even better programming of the commercially important hours between the two countries aiming at a more efficient customer service.
Allow me to give you an example of the wide range of the possibilities that will be offered:
During summer season Cyprus Airways will daily operate more than 52 domestic flights of the Olympic Air for the benefit of the Cypriot travelers.
Question: Will there be an agreement for direct flights to Crete?
Answer: Certainly. In the implementation of the code share program on all scheduled services starting on March 27th in the route of Cyprus Airways Larnaca – Herakleion – Larnaca, there will be direct flights from Cyprus to Crete. Moreover, from April 18th onwards the project will be expanded in the itinerary of Cyprus Airways Herakleion – Rhodes – Herakleion. At the same time, the resetting of the direct flights of Olympic Air from Thessaloniki to Herakleion and Chania reinforces the «Cretan dimension» of the particular collaboration, showing, therefore, our intentions for this big and beautiful island that constitutes one of the greatest poles of the Greek tourism industry.
Question: When will the cooperation with Cyprus Airways be completed regarding the transport of goods to Crete?
Answer: Today, the plane schedule Herakleion – Larnaca is only realized by Cyprus Airways so goods are transported by the airline. Later, however, an agreement will follow regarding goods for all routes.
Question: Apart from Herakleion Airport, will the cooperation be expanded to Chania airport, too?
Answer:  Cyprus Airways in cooperation with Olympic Air will offer the scheduled flights Larnaca – Chania – Larnaca via Athens from mid-April; therefore, the packet becomes wider and multi-dimensional.
Question: What are the new plans of Olympic for the next three years?
Answer:  Olympic Air aims to become the unquestionable leader in the wider area of Southeastern Europe, a company that will offer a unique product to its customers suitable to their needs and the new conditions in the area. The agreement with Cyprus Airway is our first strategic move. A project, which was designed to give the characteristics and scale that are appropriate to the Greeks’ favorite airline. Actually, this planning will diversify the Olympic Air against the competition through offering clever solutions and bold choices to the travelers. Olympic will reinforce its network abroad, in the Balkans and Middle East, and will focus on the provision of complete packages of services to its passengers. Equally important moves will follow. Besides, it should not be forgotten that this cooperation with Cyprus Airways comes just a little time after Commission’s decision not to allow merging with Aegean.
Within the framework of a three-year plan, Olympic aims to a further reinforcement of the agreements already signed with Delta Airlines for the market of  North America and with Etihad for the markets of Asia and Australia. The cooperation with Delta is already reinforced, as starting next June the passengers of both companies will be able to collect miles in the code share flights.
Question: Give us the historical details of Olympic Air and Cyprus Airways:
Answer: Olympic Air, following the tradition of Olympic Airways, officially started the operations on October 1st 2009, with the aim to become again the leading Greek airline and serve its passengers in the best possible way. Being equipped with well-trained personnel and a fleet of the latest technology is the worthy successor of a historic past. In March 2009, the transfer to MIG, which is the biggest business group in South East Europe, was preceded and so the preparation for a new era in its history started.
Olympic Air has one of the youngest fleets in Europe consisting of 8 Airbus (A320/A319), 10 Q400 Bombardier, 5 Dash 100 Bombardier and one (1) ATR-42.
The existence of these various types of aircraft provides  Olympic Air  with operational and commercial flexibility, allowing therefore, the use of the appropriate aircraft type per route and season, whereas keeping at least 2 available (stand-by) aircraft guarantees high fidelity in departure times  ensuring aircraft & dispatch reliability.
The plane schedule covers 40 destinations (8 international and 32 domestic routes) including arid routes as well. Analytically, daily departures are covered to: Amsterdam, Bucharest, Larnaca, Sofia, Istanbul, Belgrade, Cairo and Tirana. Also from and to  Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Alexandroupolis, Lemnos, Mytiline, Chios, Samos, Kos, Syros, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Herakleion, Chania, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Ioannina and Corfu. Also, arid routes are covered to Astypalea, Leros, Milos, Karpathos, Kasos, Sitia, Kythira, Naxos, Paros, Kalymnos, Skiathos, Ikaria and Kastelorizo.  Since March 27th the new itineraries of Olympic are realized from Thessaloniki Airport. More specifically: Thessaloniki – Herakleion, Thessaloniki –Chania, Thessaloniki – Mytiline and Thessaloniki – Rhodes.
Olympic Air has signed code share flight agreements (code share) with Delta regarding flights to the U.S.A, with Etihad Airways to Australia and South Africa and Cyprus Airways covering destinations home and abroad, that both Olympic Air and Cyprus Airways realize.
Olympic Air belongs to the Olympic group, which includes Olympic Handling and Olympic Engineering as well. It is basically located in Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos whereas secondary flight bases are used in Thessaloniki and Rhodes. Furthermore, there is cooperation with offices in Greece and abroad which are members of ΙΑΤΑ, there is an On-Line service system through the internet ( and a booking system through telephone exchange.
Cyprus Airways was founded on September  24th 1947, by the colonial government of Great Britain in Cyprus at that time, British European Airways (BEA) and other private investors. Today, Cyprus Airways belongs to a percentage of 69.62% to the Republic of Cyprus and to a percentage of 30.38% to private investors. Strategic cooperation agreements have been concluded with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines,  Alitalia, Aeroflot, LOT Polish Airlines, Gulf Air, El Al, SN Brussels Airlines, AeroSvit, Etihad and Royal Jordanian. Cyprus Airways connects Cyprus with 17 countries and 24 cities in Europe and Middle East.
Cyprus Airways has 3 Airbus A319, 7 Airbus A320, and 2 Airbus A330. It realizes flights from and to Larnaca, Sofia, Beirut, Damascus, Frankfurt, London (Heathrow), Amsterdam, Munich, Manchester, Milan, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Vienna, Zurich, Athens, Herakleion, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Paphos.
Since 1992 a subsidiary company was founded and functions called Eurocypria Airlines. Also, in 2002, Hellas Jet in Greece was founded (having the 75% of the shares), which till May 2005 regular scheduled flights were executed from London /Heathrow, London / Gatwick, Manchester, Paris, Brussels and Zurich from Athens, while since May 2005 it bestirred itself in charter flights and in ad-hoc aircraft rentals to other companies, until its sale to the travel group Air Miles.
Curriculum Vitae of the Executive Chairman of Olympic Air
The Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Olympic Air, Giannis Karakadas, has 25 years international experience in the development and the restructuring of leading companies all over the world. He has worked in senior management positions in multinational groups, in a broad range of industries including new technologies, consumer products and services, retail chains and commercial shipping.
Currently, he has headed the largest restructuring effort in the IT industry, and today is the President and CEO of SingularLogic which is the largest Greek software development company and IT service provider in South East Europe. Singular Logic is known among others for its responsibility to collect and transmit the election results for the Ministry of Interior.
Giannis Karakadas has served on multiple Boards of Directors of listed and unlisted companies in Greece and abroad and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Navios Maritime Partners as well as a member of the Audit Committee. He served as CEO of the German Company Tchibo GmbΗ (the biggest retail company in Europe regarding the number of points of sale) based in Hamburg. He also served as president in the Asian-Pacific American chain of Burger King Restaurants based in Sydney, Australia. He formerly served as the Managing Director in Europe for the Italian Company Barilla located in Parma, Italy.
He started his career in 1985 in Procter & Gamble Company in Athens and later served as Marketing Director Europe in PepsiCo Company having worked in top levels of management positions in Rome, Frankfurt and London.
Moreover, Giannis Karakadas is the founder and CEO of White Tower Ltd Company located in the United Kingdom engaged in the counseling of the operational and financial restructuring of Companies.
Giannis Karakadas was born in Thessaloniki in 1962 and holds a degree in Industrial Management from Kent State University (USA) in 1982.

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