articles | 24 February 2014

Cyprus Airways courting investors

Cyprus Airways is set to begin talks with prospective investors, says chairman Tony Antoniou, but refused to give out detailsciting confidentiality.

His statement came a day after the national carrier's pilots decided to file private criminal law suits against the company for cutting its contribution to the provident fund without their consent. "We are doing the best we can, the company is in real trouble, we will start talks, within days, with prospective investors. There is interest, but allow me not to get into details because we have to respect confidentiality issues," Antoniou told state radio. "If the pilots believe the new board members are not doing a good job then they should say so and we all go home… there was bad management throughout the years, we are trying to save this company, the pilots should have stood by our side not against us," he added. 

The carrier's 70 pilots recently held a general meeting after which they announced the legal action to be taken. "The decision taken at the general meeting is that every member proceeds with private criminal law suits against those who took the decision to illegally cut the company's contribution to the provident fund," a statement by Pasipy pilots union said. Salaries for the whole CA group were paid with a week's delay this month over this dispute. The provident fund contribution by the struggling employer was cut from 8% to 1% for a 15-month period for all company staff. Pasipy - the pilots' union - is the only one out of a total of five that had refused to accept the cut.

Even after the European Commission announced this month that regulators had opened an in-depth probe into the restructuring plan of the national carrier. If the Commission turns down the latest restructuring plan the debt-ridden carrier will be forced to close down immediately.  The Commission said it would look into whether an aid package of €102.9 million was in line with EU state aid rules and whether the plan wouldallow the airline to survive without continued state support.  The Commission argued that the carrier had already benefited from other state aid measures since 2007, despite EU rules saying that restructuring aid can be granted only once over a ten-year period.

Source: InCyprus

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