Cyprus Mail

Authorities extend deadline for non-binding airline offers

Authorities in Cyprus have extended Friday’s deadline for submission of non-binding expressions of interest in Cyprus Airways until Sept. 3, aiming to give possible bidders plenty of time to formulate their offers.

Companies which have said they might be interested in bidding for the carrier include Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline, and Greece’s Aegean Airlines.

“The ministry wants to give all candidates the possibility and time to submit comprehensive proposals,” a source at the Cypriot ministry of communications and works told Reuters on Friday.

A Ryanair executive earlier this week said Ryanair was planning to make a non-binding offer after a positive meeting with the Cypriot government. Executives previously said Ryanair could boost airline numbers to 3 million annually from 600,000, down 50 percent from their peak.

More than 10 companies submitted expressions of interest for the troubled Cypriot airline in July. Authorities have previously expressed hope they can conclude a deal by early October.

Cyprus Airways has made several unsuccessful attempts at a turnaround in recent years and is under scrutiny by the European Commission for receiving allegedly irregular state aid handouts in violation of competition rules. (Reuters)



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