Greece’s Aegean Airlines Group carried 13.2 million passengers in 2017, up 6% on 2016’s figure and a new record.

The group, which consists of Aegean Airlines and subsidiary Olympic Air, said the new record had been achieved through better utilization of its network, as the number of flights over the year had remained stable.

Load factor for the group throughout 2017 was 83.2%, up from 77.4% in 2016.

The main growth driver was international traffic, which rose 9% to 7.3 million, while domestic routes carried 3% more passengers, at 5.9 million.

The Greek capital Athens was the focus of the group’s activities, with 10.3 million passengers passing through the Greek capital, compared to 9.4 million in 2016.

“We concluded 2017 with positive results, achieving the main quantitative and qualitative targets that we had set out for the year,” Aegean MD, Dimitris Gerogiannis said. “We utilized our fleet more effectively, achieving historically high load factors. We begin 2018 by planning 18 new destinations and a total of 700,000 new seats.”

As well as its Athens operations, the group operates a large network of routes throughout the Greek islands, with some services going direct from island leisure destinations as far afield as Moscow.

Alan Dron