Sometime this month, says the government, we will see the completion of the competition called by the previous government for the privatization of Olympic Airlines. Until then, there will be no changes in the airline’s management, said Mihalis Liapis, Greece’s transportation and communications minister at a press meet.
According to press reports, two consortiums are still interested in acquiring the airline: Olympic Investors with British partners and Golden Aviation Holdings with shipowner Stamatis Resti.
Meanwhile, Olympic announced an actual increase of 15% in passenger movement for the month of March and for the first 18 days of April it posted a 42% increase in international traffic carried and a 35.5% in domestic traffic, all in comparison with the same periods last year.
This follows press reports that the carrier has yet to announce its summer flight schedules. Reports say Olympic cannot formulate a summer program since it lacks not only aircraft but also needed spare parts for grounded passenger jets.
Separately, Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis last month criticized the previous government’s policies, which he said led to the gradual ”extinction” of the Greek cruise fleet, and the role played by Greek banks, which recently confiscated at least 10 Greek-flagged vessels over unpaid debts.
At a press call, Mr Kefaloyiannis said that since he took over the ministry he has had a series of meetings with shipowners and representatives of merchant seamen, where he urged for a ”golden solution” to ensure the survival of the Greek cruise sector.