The airline industry has been harder than ever before. Experts say it could be 2024 before we see the numbers in air travel that we had in 2019! While some airlines are leaning heavily on government aid to prop them up (and then some still go ahead and get rid of workers), others are trying to be as creative as possible to get customers back.
This Airline Is Trying Harder and Being More Creative Than Other Airlines
Aegean Airlines is an Awesome Airline to Fly
One thing for sure – Aegean Airlines is an absolutely fantastic airline. I have always enjoyed flying them (and have held their Gold elite status for 8 years now) and the staff is just very pleasant. Read: 6 Things to Know About Flying with Aegean
In any time, it is a great airline to fly on and they had been moving very strongly with new aircraft and new destinations to add to their already impressive regional map. They even have destinations in the Middle East and Africa, as well as all over Europe.
But, They Are Having a Hard Time
In a very unfriendly customer move, Greece made a law possible for Aegean to not give refunds to customers and only offer vouchers – in direct contradiction with EU law. This was done even as Aegean had €400 million cash reserves just last month (and a healthy credit line with Greek banks and €150 million from the coronavirus fund).
But, with the airline relying heavily on summer tourist traffic throughout their network, this has not been going well for them. Hotel bookings are way down as are airline bookings from outside of Greece as the summer tourism season never really materialized the way Greece had hoped.
Aegean Airlines Is Trying Many Things to Encourage Bookings
So, Aegean went to work with their campaign to get passengers on their planes. In the past, Aegean had to deal with Ryanair undercutting them on their own domestic network but Ryanair had scaled back long before Covid-19 even came around. So, that meant Aegean was not as competitive as they once were.
But, check out this list of promotions they have run over the last several weeks – literally offering deals for everyone including pets.
- International direct routes to major Greek airports – 30% off (available until June 21)
- Children fly free (available until June 30 for flights until September 6)
- Earn double award miles and up to 15% discount with Hertz (available until July 31)
- Save 50% on the second person traveling with you (available until July 13 for flights until October 31)
- Fly to South Aegean Airlines with up to 40% off (available until July 23 for flights until October 31)
- Earn 1 free card rental (1 day) from Hertz with an Aegean flight (available until July 29 for flights until August 31)
- Fly to Greece from international cities for 50% off (available until July 30 for flights until October 31)
- Children travel with 50% discount, double miles, and one extra free bag per family (available until September 6)
- Fly with your pet with a 50% discount
These are just promotions in the last month and they do not include the somewhat regular domestic flights from €19! Plus, this also does not include the mileage promotions they were running on various routes.
The only thing they have not done is to sell miles on sale. I think this mostly has to do with the fact that Aegean really does not want to be shelling out cash to alliance partners for premium award flights right now, even if they were able to bring in some money with mileage sales.
But, Aegean is definitely trying hard to get people on board. They have also detailed how they are working really hard to maintain clean aircraft and to have a clean experience inside the airports.
However, this does not seem to have translated to the kinds of numbers that Aegean wanted. In June and July, they flew with 40% capacity on aircraft and they expect that to only tick up to 50% for the month of August, undoubtedly their big month for travel.
I wish other airlines would run sales like this! True, not many people are flying but this would surely entice many to pay out now for cheaper flights when things do settle down – especially since most airlines have flexibility terms in place to let you move those cheap tickets around later, if needed.