Olympic Airlines under pressure

photo by caribb

Greek flag carrier Olympic Airlines appears to be flying into even more turbulence. The Greek transport minister, Costis Hadzidakis, said that although the government was dedicated to keeping Olympic afloat, "the situation for Olympic has become even more difficult," especially after Ryanair complained to the EU that Olympic has not repaid over 700 million euros ($1.2 billion) of illegal state aid that it received between 1998 and 2002. The government has said before that calls for repaying the money is making it impossible to find investors interested in a possible privatization of the airline.

If Olympic is forced to close, Hadzidakis said, then none of the airline's 8,500 employees would lose their jobs, and none of the Greek islands would lose air service to the mainland. But the fact that the country's transport minister is issuing such a dire projection of Olympic's future is widely regarded as a sign that the airline might have to close down soon. According to the Greek government, Olympic costs Greek taxpayers 300,000 euros ($442,830) a day.


Anonymous said...

Its no surprise that Olympic is in such dire straits.
Nearly all of its 8500 employees are 'patronage positions'.
The recent Hadzidakis statement that no one would lose their jobs is a testament to this morally bankrupt patronage operation.
The Greek people, meanwhile are saddled with supporting this lumbering, failing behemoth to the tune of $443,000 daily.
This rotten excuse for an airline is an embarrassment to the citizens of Greece, as they struggle for viability within the EU marketplace.

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with 'Anonymous' regarding the current Olympic fiasco.
Back in the seventies, Aristotle Onassis was the 'Go To' guy when the government then needed to be bailed out of the Olympic mess.
He fired non-performing employees, used his own capital to acquire new aircraft, and set about to correct all the bureaucratic bungling mistakes that had been made.
Today, there is no Onassis to act as a life vest for this faltering operation.
Sadly, the time has come.
Olympic should shut down.

Anonymous said...

Why shut down OA?In order to leave islands like Kasos,Leros,Astypallea etc without flights????Or you think that there will be an airline to fly to destinations where in an airplane of 70 seats only 30 are occupied??
In addition,the illegal "state aid" is money that the greek goverment has to pay to OA for the things OA does without agreeng to do so(many things,even daily newspapers "travel with oa"in order to be on time in every part of greece).Greek governors travel free with all their voters every voting season,as thr goverment does not pay OA.They keep selling airplanes of OA and rent older ones at 750000EUR/Month!!!!!!!IS OA TO BE BLAMED FOR THE SITUATION ON THE RULLING GOVERMENT??THAT KOSTAS CHANTZIDAKIS IS LIKE A FAMILY TO MITSOTAKIS WHO HAS MONEY(in an other name of cource!)????
Try to search something before you talk for Olympic.....

It hurts me very much that Greece cant hold it's national carrier as it does with everything that can be sold...(OTE,DEI,ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS AIRPORT,PIREAS PORT)