Either through a Greek subsidiary airline or through an alliance with a private Greek carrier, Cyprus Airways is about to take on Olympic Airways. The Cypriot flag carrier says it will concentrate on international flights out of Greece and perhaps team up with a private Greek carrier for the Greek domestic market. The project is reported to be at an advanced stage and should be concluded soon.
Cyprus Airways withdrew from the bidding process for ailing Greek carrier Olympic Airways some two months ago.
The airline’s chairman, Haris Loizides, told the Cyprus newspaper that EU residents must own 51 percent of the company in order to set up a carrier in Greece. An airline executive added, “we are not ruling out charter or scheduled flights, or both. We are thinking of concentrating on flights abroad and cooperation with an existing private airline for domestic flights.”
He declined to name the airline, but Greece only has one private carrier now, Aegean Cronus.
In the meantime, the International Union of European Airlines (in its April-September 2001 research) classifies Cyprus Airways as one of the top three European airlines.