Cyprus Airways Takes Over Eurocypria Flights
Cyprus Airways is scrambling to handle seven stranded Eurocypria flights today amid an indefinite strike by Eurocypria staff who are protesting the government's plans to present the company's bankruptcy to the European Union.
Eurocypria's 320 staff fear losing their jobs and benefits owed in the case that the company enters administration.
State-owned charter airline Eurocypria is set to stop operations on November 13th after the ministry of finance announced plans to merge it with Cyprus Airways. The decision to merge the two ailing airlines came after Cyprus Airways reported a 25 million euro loss for the first six months of 2010, compared to a loss of 3.8 million euros for the same period in 2009. In May this year, Eurocypria asked the government for another 35 million euros to cover its debt payments.
The government decided it cannot afford two state-run airlines.
Yesterday government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou hit back against criticism of the government's decision to shut down Eurocypria, saying that the bankrupt company had problems stemming from past administrations.
However, many observers are critical of the government's handling of the problem, saying that the European Union would never have approved the initial plan to merge the two state-owned airlines due to protection of competition laws, and that there had been no transparency towards the company's employees.
Eurocypria will now be liquidated after the EU refused to allow the merger.