Debt-burdened Cyprus Airways will try to minimise operational costs to the hilt by axing whatever is beyond the once happy-spending national carrier’s means.
This is what informed sources told The Cyprus Daily, with one adding: “Cyprus Airways has to make itself the maximum possible low operational cost carrier to attract prospective buyers. And this means that staff will continue to be axed and departments will continue to be disengaged from the company.
First it was the catering and next in line is the engineering. In addition, rented premises will be minimised with various departments merging under one roof”.
The same source also said that the European Commission has thrown a lifeline at CA by postponing a decision on its investigation over the legality of the carrier’s increase of capital by €31.3 million. But the carrier’s could still face closure.
If the decision which was due to be taken this month had been negative then the carrier would have to close down immediately. Because the money would have to be returned and the company coffers are totally empty.
The Commission’s deferral was confirmed by Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos who also warned though that the airline is still in a precarious position.
Because the Commission’s decision could be negative and the state would still not be able to pay back all that money. It just buys more time to CA to find a money-rich strategic investor.
The ministry is currently looking into three or four alternatives that can provide temporary solutions. But a strategic investor has to be found to pump much-needed capital into the state carrier at least before the start of the peak summer season.
Management has sent the message that interested investors have submitted bids. Developments are expected in the coming months, with reports pointing to major decisions in early March.
In addition, CA has officially announced agreements with two major travel agencies, Top Kinisis and Xenos Travel on charter flights to the Greek islands in the summer, bringing in an extra €2.4 million.
Selling the night time slot at Heathrow Airport can hold the company until the summer, according to insiders.