Cyprus Mail

Aegean may go it alone, without CY

By George Psyllides

AEGEAN Airlines said yesterday it was interested in developing its operations on the island, but it was not yet clear whether the process involved acquiring the island’s ailing carrier Cyprus Airways (CY).

Vice chairman Eftihios Vasilakis said CY’s main asset was the brand. Conditions would show if Aegean’s development in Cyprus would take place independently or through co-operation.

“I think the Cypriot state has realised it can no longer support the company because of the cost and EU restrictions,” Vasilakis said. “It is a company, which has run out of money and ability to continue independently.”

“Operating out of Cyprus interests us very much,” he said during a news conference in Crete.

Aegean and Ryanair have showed interest in CY but neither had made a meaningful offer and their terms were not in the public interest, according to Finance Minister Harris Georgiades.

The minister said talks with the two airlines have stagnated as neither was interested in investing in a company that might have to repay tens of millions to the government.

Both appear interested in buying certain assets of the national carrier, but on terms deemed grossly unfavourable to the government.

CY is waiting for an EU decision on whether Cyprus broke state aid rules by subsidising it with around €75m in previous years.

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