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Aegean Airlines Faces Criticism After Lost Kitten Incident

Aegean Airlines has issued a response amid growing concerns about a kitten that went missing on one of its flights.
Aegean Airlines has issued a response amid growing concerns about a kitten that went missing on one of its flights. Credit: Eric Salard. CC BY-2.0/Wikimedia Commons/Eric Salard

Greece’s flagship travel provider Aegean Airlines has issued a response following the disappearance of a kitten on a flight from Chania Airport, Crete to Munich Airport, Germany via Athens.

As relayed by the kitten’s owner, she arrived at Chania Airport on March 8th with Rodri safely tucked away in a pet carrier and checked the housed-kitten in with airport staff. However, when she went to check on her pet during the stop in Athens, the carrier had been damaged and Rodri had escaped and was nowhere to be seen.

Staff explained that the pet carrier had arrived damaged from Chania, according to Rodri’s owner.

The search for the missing kitten, which is blind in one eye, has surged on social media, and the owner has called out Aegean Airlines for what is said to have been a slow response in finding Rodri after four days without food or water.

Aegean Airlines’ statement on missing kitten

On March 12th, Aegean Airlines published a statement describing the various steps it had taken to find Rodri and reunite him with his owner. In the statement, the airline shared that it was “deeply concerned” about the kitten’s disappearance and is making a joint effort with authorities and airport staff to locate him.

“From the moment we realized that Rodri was missing, we swiftly launched extensive efforts, coordinating with airport authorities and deploying our dedicated airport personnel in search of the kitten. Despite our exhaustive attempts, we haven’t yet located Rodri the kitten, but we are fully committed to persisting in our search efforts,” a spokesperson for Aegean Airlines said.

The company added that the safety and wellbeing of all animals that travel with the airline are of the “upmost importance,” and it is looking into how the carrier was damaged.

In June of last year at the World Airline Awards, Aegean was named the “best regional airline in Europe” for the twelfth consecutive year and thirteenth overall. The company also ranked among the best airlines for its cabin crew, sitting in fourth place in the ranking for “best airline staff in Europe 2023.”

At the time of the awards, Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said, “Aegean continues to deliver a remarkable standard of consistency in the awards survey, and this ongoing recognition from their passengers as the Best Regional Airline in Europe for the twelfth time is a simply fabulous achievement for the airline management and staff.”

Moreover, Dimitris Gerogiannis, AEGEAN’s CEO, commented: “We are very proud to have been named the Best Regional Airline in Europe for an astounding twelfth time. [This is] a recognition that increases our responsibility towards our customers. Our success lies in the passion and tireless efforts of our exceptional team, who consistently go above and beyond to deliver an extraordinary travel experience.”

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