The Bottom Line
The current owners of Olympic Air, Marfin Investment Group, seem determined to make a go of the company, and are vigorously defending its territory against award-winning Aegean Airlines. But plans to merge the two airlines may change everything about flying in Greece - if they can get EU permission to do so. Because of this fluid situation, expect policies and routes to potentially change in late 2013 and 2014.
- Olympic Airlines had problems which Olympic Air seems intent on solving
- Assertive management is pursuing international code sharing, most recently with Cyprus Air
- Looks like Olympic Air intends to give Aegean a fight for money, routes, and customers
- Marfin Investment Group is buying new planes for the island routes
- Still one of only two major airlines serving domestic Greece; only Aegean offers much competition.
- With the many new aircraft MIG is buying for Olympic Air, the airline will have one of the newest fleets in the world.
- Business class is expected to be substantially upgraded by the new owners.
- New uniforms brighten up the new or newly-retrained crew.
- Olympic specials are offering very low prices to Greece from locations in Europe.
Olympic Air also offers "Weekendair" - deals on both domestic and international routes. Buy them on the weekend for travel over the following 10 days. Not available during summer.
- Olympic is pursuing agreements with many other airlines to make getting to Greece easier from the rest of Europe and beyond.
Guide Review - Olympic Air Information
Olympic Air will quickly be familiar with you if you are spending any length of time in Greece. Narrowly missing a merger with Aegean Airlines, Greece's flagship airline Olympic Air is adding partners and competing head-to-head with Aegean on some routes.
Customer service has improved and Olympic has generally sharpened its game in the past few years of direct competition from Aegean.
Since the official Olympic Air website often comes up with its Greek language version in search results, or can be a bit confusing, I've broken out the main pages here for your convenience.
Olympic Air English Language Website LinksIn many searches, only the Greek language version of Olympic Air comes up - here are some of the key links to flight status, booking, and other airline essentials.
- Olympic Airlines English Language Homepage
- Online Olympic Airlines Ticket Booking
- Olympic Airlines Flight Status
- This lists Olympics destinations (but does not link to schedules)
- Flight Disruption, Strike and Cancellation Information
How to Find Out if Olympic Flies Where You Want to GoThis is not particularly obvious on the new website, so here's help. Go to the Destinations link and see if your location is listed in the paragraphs on that page and to get a general idea of the destinations available. Then, go to the Timetable link above and enter in your departure and arrival airport by selecting them from the drop-down lists. They may not "stick" in the search boxes if you type them in, even if they appear there.
Olympic Air also has introduced a liberal ticket change policy; all tickets, even sale ones, can be changed though there may be related fees to do so.
For reservations, passengers can book online or call 801 801 01 01 from a local (in Greece) landline or +30 210 35 50 500 from outside Greece or from cell phones anywhere in the world.
You may see a mention of "PSO" flights - those are low or no-profit "Public Service Obligation" routes, which Olympic will probably continue to serve though Aegean Airlines is putting up a fight for some of them. In the past, these flights were among the most frequently cancelled or combined, but for the near future at least, while Aegean and Olympic are competing vigorously, these lifeline flights to smaller islands should enjoy better service.
Olympic Air DiscountsYou can sign up for their "Weekend Air" email alerts, which can provide some inspiration for last-minute trips. They usually offer 4-5 Greek destinations plus at least one foreign flight, to Cyprus, Egypt, or other locations. These discounted flights can be booked Friday-Sunday and are good for flights starting the following Tuesday. These discounts may not always be available and Olympic Air may be changing their program as time goes on.
Low Fare Calendar - another way of finding the cheap seats.