Olympic Airways is about to be molded into slimmer carrier and renamed Olympic Airlines. The launch date of the new company has not been announced but is expected to follow soon after passage of the pertinent bill now in parliament.
Three Greek banks – National, Alpha and Emporiki – have already started talks with potential buyers to sell at least 51 percent of the new Olympic Airlines. “There are talks going on with the banks, there are exploratory discussions,” says Transport Minister Christos Verelis. “The market is waiting for the procedure to be completed in Parliament, then interest will be expressed (for Olympic).”
Under the government’s plan, proceeds from the intended privatization will be used to cover old Olympic Airways debt. Based on the old carrier’s 2002 income statement, Olympic’s accumulated loss has widened to 512 million euros ($562.1 million). The new carrier will be engaged only in flying activities.