European Commission prohibits the merger of Olympic Air with AEGEAN

The European Commission following an investigation which lasted 10 months, announced today its decision to prohibit the proposed transaction with regards to the merger of Olympic Air with AEGEAN, as agreed and announced on 22/02/2010.

The transaction had been agreed by the main shareholders of AEGEAN and MARFIN INVESTMENT GROUP on February 22, 2010, subject to the approval by the European Competition Commission. Given the aforementioned Decision, the agreement of February 22, 2010 between the two parties is dissolved.

Commenting on this development, Mr. Theodore Vassilakis, Chairman of AEGEAN said : “Throughout last year we presented to the European Commission the benefits of the merger for our companies, our passengers and our country’s economy. We also offered important commitments to safeguard consumers as well as measures to facilitate the entry of new competitors in the domestic market. Unfortunately, the EC decided to prohibit the agreement. An important opportunity for a consolidated representation in the European aviation market has been lost. We will adjust and continue. Our track record shows that we can succeed through challenging times.”

Mr. Andreas Vgenopoulos, Chairman of the BoD of MARFIN INVESTMENT GROUP, made the following statement: «The EC Decision will have negative consequences for consumers as well as our country’s economy while it will benefit foreign competitors. Obviously we, as well as Aegean, will continue to do our best for the benefit of our staff, our shareholders and our passengers».

The companies will review the final document of the EC decision which was received today and following internal consideration and consultation with their advisers will decide for their possible further actions within the framework of existing legislation.

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Brussels Airlines is the home carrier of Belgium and one of the four network airlines of the Lufthansa Group. It connects the European capital from Brussels Airport with over 90 destinations, 18 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs more than 3,400 people and operates 44 aircraft.

Brussels Airlines aims to emit 50% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2019 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. The airline is participating in the Stargate Project led by Brussels Airport and is therefore part of the testing ground for sustainable aviation at its home base. In addition, the airline signed the Circular Economy agreement of the Antwerp Management School in 2021. The airline was the first to transport Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) through the CEPS-pipeline connecting Brussels Airport early 2023. By end 2024, Brussels Airlines will have welcomed five state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo allowing the airline to significantly lower its CO2- and noise-emissions on its medium-haul network.

As an ambassador of its country, Brussels Airlines brings the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world, among others through collaborations with Belgian Star Chefs, Belgian culinary products and the Belgian Icons, specially painted aircraft that honour a Belgian iconic person, team or event to promote Belgian culture worldwide.

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The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance, based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless service. Since inception, it has offered the largest and most comprehensive airline network, with a focus on improving customer experience across the Alliance journey.

Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 17,000 daily flights to over 1,200 airports in 190 countries.

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