Greece’s flag carrier AEGEAN marked its 25th anniversary this week with its chairman Eftichios Vassilakis looking to a strong future ahead.

The company which started operations in 1999 with two aircraft today employs some 3,700 people and serves 156 destinations with 249 direct flights to 47 countries on 76 planes.

Last year, AEGEAN increased available seat capacity by 3.1 million to 18.5 million seats and transported some 15.5 million passengers up 26% over  the previous year.

The company was listed this year on the Athens Stock Exchange, is a Star Alliance member, acquired Olympic Air, has placed 46 orders for Airbus A320 neo aircraft, and set up the first modern Flight Simulator and Crew Training Center in Greece, in one of Europe’s first ‘green’ hangars at Athens International Airport.

Additionally, the company has ordered four new Α321neo LR craft in order to carry out long-haul flights to the Middle East, India and Central Africa.

“It’s been 25 years since our first flight and the conditions, sizes and challenges are very different, but the goal remains the same. As we move into our next chapter, the challenge for the new generation of executives, a much larger team with great potential, is innovation and competitiveness in new conditions, a fresh outlook and consistency in our core values as well as staying committed to our growth, which contributes to the image and competitive advantage of Greece,” said Vassilakis.