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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Triple Five to CY rescue? ]

Triple Five to CY rescue?

Poly Pantelides

AT WHAT seemed to be the eleventh hour for state carrier Cyprus Airways (CY), which is short of millions, and friends, Canadian conglomerate Triple Five has sent a letter reiterating its interest in a majority stake.

CY informed its shareholders yesterday that it received a letter on Thursday from Triple Five which “restated its interest to invest in the company,” an announcement said.

“Triple Five’s interest displayed is conditional on specific terms which will have to be agreed with the government, CY’s major stakeholder,” CY spokesman Kyriacos Kyriacou said.

The timing is auspicious, as Thursday marks the last meeting at the House Finance Committee, whose members have been reluctant to approve a €31.33 million cash injection which the government is asking for. 

Lawmakers have said that the state’s restructuring plan for CY is only a short-term solution. During discussions of the struggling airline, the example of state-owned charter airline Eurocypria inevitably gets dropped because in 2010 it went bust a few months after deputies approved of a €35 million cash injection. 

Triple Five previously expressed an interest in CY in early May when despite reports that it seeking to buy the state’s entire share, 69.5 per cent, the airline would not elaborate.

Kyriacou said yesterday that Triple Five was interested in being “at minimum, a majority stakeholder”.  However, he did not elaborate on conditions. 

He said that Triple Five would discuss the government’s restructuring plan and the two parties will need to conclude talks by the end of September. 

The government’s plan provides for 247 redundancies and benefits and wage cuts but lawmakers have expressed worry that redundancy plans would be too costly because of compensation due to those who lose their jobs. 

The airline employs some 1,100 people. 

CY executive chairman George Mavrocostas has said that all potential investors have asked for restructuring.

CY has been getting by through government support and cash injections in the form of assistance for losses incurred due to a Turkish airspace ban on Cypriot aircraft. Last year it was given €20 million for losses incurred between 2004 and 2010 and this year it got €5.3 million, representing the extra fuel cost to avoid Turkish airspace. 

Earlier in the week, Mavrocostas said that the airspace ban gave other airlines an unfair advantage and the airline has criticised the state for giving incentives to other airlines to set up shop, such as the low-cost carrier Ryanair which is based in Paphos.

The incentives are, however, available to everyone including CY, which has bigger worries right now. The head of its biggest union SYNIKA, Andreas Pierides, said earlier this week – before Triple Five’s letter – that they might not make it through September.  

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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