AUTHORITIES must urgently implement the Cyprus Airways (CY) restructuring plan, Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said today, warning that the ailing state-controlled airline could not survive under current conditions.
“The company cannot continue to operate in the same way,” Georgiades told the state broadcaster. “We will make a final effort to keep the company alive.”
Under the conditions of the restructuring plan drafted by Air France-KLM, CY must shed 490 of its 1,040 staff , cut wages across the board and downsize its fleet by four aircraft to six.
The plan must be implemented as a matter of urgency, the minister said, “in the hope it makes the company attractive enough for a private strategic investor.”
Georgiades said the airline could not remain in state hands for much longer.
“It will not be able to survive under the current regime for a series of reasons, legal and financial,” he said.
The European Commission is already looking into whether some €104 million granted to CY by the state complied with EU rules.
Georgiades said Cyprus no longer had the luxury to postpone making a decision, a usual practice in the past.
“This is over, whether we want it or not,” he said.
On Wednesday, the government appointed a new board for the airline, headed by businessman Antonis Antoniou.
During his first meeting with the airline’s five unions yesterday, Antoniou highlighted the need to advance the necessary solutions as soon as possible because there was no more time to waste.