Cyprus Mail

Holiday post woes fail to abate

By Peter Stevenson

THREE weeks later and there are still no signs of the two bags of mail which went missing on December 10 from Athens airport, postal services said yesterday.

Chief postal superintendant Pavlos Pavlides told the Cyprus Mail that he was still awaiting news on the two bags of EMS datapost that had been scheduled to fly to Cyprus three weeks ago from Greece.

Pavlides said that it was likely a number of letters from the UK were amongst the packages which were lost in Greece.

The bags are not the only mail that have been delayed as Pavlides explained that post from Germany, the Netherlands, China, India and Korea had experienced more delays this year than usual due to flights from those countries unable to carry extra items.

“We have had an improvement in the mail which comes from England after Royal Mail began using alternative methods to get mail here after they noticed last year that the method they were using was ineffective,” he said.

Mail from the UK now comes via the cargo hold of Emirates flights and also from Aegean airline flights that fly via Athens. Last year the mail all travelled through Greece, which had caused the large delays.

“The bulk of the mail now comes directly in Emirates flights’ cargo hold,” Pavlides said.

There are two main reasons behind the delay of mail, Pavlides added, the first is a delay in the arrival, and the second is a delay in the delivery.

Asked whether this year had seen an increase in the delay of delivery of certain items due to the lack of working days around the Christmas period, Pavlides said that he understood the public’s despair at not receiving their presents or packages on time but he could not force people to work on national holidays.

“Unfortunately this year, due to budgetary restraints, employees will no longer be paid to work overtime. In previous years postal workers worked overtime during the holidays and managed to get more work done,” he said.

One angry Cyprus Mail reader remarked, “Do these people not yet realise the dire situation that this island is in at the present time and that hard work is required by all?”

Pavlides’ response was that unfortunately this year the holidays had fallen in such a manner that it had limited the number of days postmen have been able to work.

“Sadly Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day have all fallen in the middle of the week which means combined with the weekends that fall on either side we have not been able to work as many days to serve the public,” he said.

Earlier this year the Cyprus Mail reported that it regularly receives complaints from people waiting for mail, particularly around Christmas time.

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