AEGEAN AIRLINES MAKES ITS STAND IN PROMOTING GREECE'S RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE

Pictured above: the Director of the Acropolis Museum, Professor Dimitris Pantermalis, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ms. Angeliki Gerekou and the Chairman of Aegean Airlines, Mr. Theodoros Vassilakis. In the background one of the two new Airbus 320 bearing the image of the Acropolis Museum's Kori of Athens.

Aegean, the Greek airline, announced a national cultural initiative, ultimately aiming at boosting the country's international image, as well as supporting Greek tourism. In particular, the two new Airbus Á320 aircraft bearing the image of the Acropolis Museum's Kori of Athens were presented during an event held at the company's technical base (26.11.09). The inscription urges us to "Discover the New Acropolis Museum", not to mention the Museum's website at www.theacropolismuseum.gr. The names of the two aircraft are "Cleisthenes" and "Pheidias" - a live invitation to the New Acropolis Museum for millions of passengers throughout the world.

These two airplanes however are not the only "vehicles" promoting the Museum and Greece. From the beginning of 2010 onwards, a special video that will be provided by the Museum will be broadcast aboard all 22 brand new Airbus aircraft owned by AEGEAN during all international flights. The video will introduce the newest jewel of Greece and Athens to travellers.

The names "Cleisthenes" and "Phidias" assigned to the aircraft were recommended by the Director of the Acropolis Museum, Professor Dimitris Pantermalis.Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ms. Angeliki Gerekou, honored the event with her presence and delivered a welcome address.

The Chairman of Aegean Airlines, Mr. Theodoros Vassilakis, stated during his speech: "In the midst of the adverse conditions we experience nowadays, there is a need for new initiatives and collectiveness in particular in the context of promoting Greece. We are fully aware of our responsibility seeing as we are the largest Greek airline. It is imperative that we bond ancient Greece's contribution to modern civilization with a creation of contemporary Greece that we must convey to the international community. The New Acropolis Museum is our gaze upon the world and embraces both of the country's historic and contemporary image. That is exactly the face of Greece we must promote, not only to attract visitors, but also to restore our sense of pride within."

The Director of the Acropolis Museum, Professor Dimitris Pantermalis, commented among other things: "I was extremely pleased when the administration of Aegean adopted the two names, which mean so much to us, to the Museum, and also reflect the works exhibited within the Museum. Cleisthenes is credited with being the first man in history who wanted to reform political life in Athens, thus providing what we know and demand today, isonomy (as per the Greek word isonomia, meaning "equality before the law"), in other words democracy, as it was expressed soon after. The new perception of man, men's rights, men's freedom, men's ability to plan their own lives, these are all political messages that were converted into art by Pheidias, hence our second name. He managed to take the ideology as a whole inherent in classical Athens and turn it into an image."

Ms. Gerekou mentioned the following in her welcome address: "Our country's cultural capital constitutes our common heritage. It belongs to all of us and each and every one of us, wherever they may be – depending on their goals, on their abilities – can truly contribute a great deal. I am therefore pleased with your initiative. I would however also like to convey our own message: Our Government, in its capacity as the political leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, will be by your side. Congratulations on your endeavor are in order; not to mention congratulations on every single initiative moving towards the goal of endowing Greece with the power it deserves before the eyes of the world, the brand new dynamic identity it has rightfully earned in terms of culture, in terms of tourism, which is of course the prevailing pillar of our economy. We are called upon to redefine our national identity and local identities as part of tourism. Rest assured then that we will stand by each and every one of you in your attempt."

In promoting the Museum, AEGEAN reinforces Greek tourism, the largest Greek industry. The airline is looking to create opportunities for Athens to become a premium city-break destination. It is an opportunity for foreigners to visit Athens for the very first time as well as to attract past visitors to return again and again.

This new initiative of AEGEAN is an open invitation to all Greek companies to utilise their products to promote Greece's rich cultural heritage.

The British Committee are delighted with Aegean's initiative and the livery of "Cleisthenes" and "Pheidias".