Astra Airlines of Greece acquires second BAe 146-300
Astra Airlines of Greece has acquired a BAe 146-300 from BAE Systems Asset Management to add to its existing Series 300 that it has had in service since July 2008, when it commenced operations.
The second aircraft (msn E3193) was delivered in the third week of May and is configured in a 99-seat all economy class layout. The airline has chosen the BAe 146-300 because its low fixed costs make it an ideal option for a charter operator.
The airline is unique in being based at Thessaloniki in northern Greece from where it has conducted nearly 500 direct ad hoc and pre-scheduled charter flights on behalf of tour operators, agencies and brokers from Greece, Cyprus, Poland and Ukraine covering sporting and cultural events, trade fairs as well as incentive and pilgrim flights.
The Astra Airlines BAe 146-300 has flown to destinations across Greece as well as wider European centres such as Barcelona, Bremen, Dublin, Florence, Geneva, London, Milan, Paris, Prague and Vienna, as well as Tel-Aviv in Israel and Damascus in Syria.
The second aircraft has been acquired to help service this growing charter programme and also to launch its first scheduled operation between Thessaloniki and Kiev in Ukraine. In addition, the aircraft is required because Astra Airlines is expanding its existing ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) co-operation with Olympic Airways.
It currently flies on behalf of Olympic to Cyprus on the Athens- Larnaca route, and has also carried out more than 600 flights including to international destinations such as Alexandria, Beograd, Bucharest, Frankfurt, Rome, Sofia, Tirana and Vienna and the majority of Greek domestic destinations on behalf of the flag carrier. In addition, from this month, it is starting ACMI cooperation flights with Athens Airways, a scheduled Greek domestic operator.