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Trimming Down Cyprus Airways

FOUR out of ten Cyprus Airways staff could be made redundant while those remaining would take a 10 per cent cut in salaries, under a restructuring plan drawn up to salvage the ailing national carrier.

Devised by Air France and KLM, the plan advocates a drastic trimming down of the company, widely considered to be bloated after decades of unchecked hiring. The airline currently has some 1,000 people on its payroll.

CY’s management, administration and trade unions are currently engaging in intensive consultations with a view to agreeing a formula acceptable to all sides. But that looks like a hard sell, even as the company stares bankruptcy in the face.

Time is also pressing, as it’s understood that an agreement should be reached as soon as possible - by the end of this month.

The blueprint currently being discussed calls for the sacking of 407 employees, and for a 10 per cent reduction in the salaries of non-flight personnel among the 578 staff that would remain.

Some unions however are making noises about the flat 10 per cent rate, demanding scaled pay cuts instead, while others are calling for equal treatment.

The plan also provides for the outsourcing of a number of departments, such as catering. However, CY chairman Stavros Stavrou has said that under no circumstances will the company accept the outsourcing of either the engineering or maintenance departments as these are directly linked with safety, which must remain within the purview of the airline.

Severance is another major sticking point. A total compensation figure of €10m to €12m has been reported, which would come to between €26,000 and €28,000 per person. The cash-strapped government will have to dig deep into its pockets to find the money.

The state has a 70 per cent stake in the company.

Only last month parliament grudgingly endorsed the release of €16m to the company from the state; the cash was earmarked for a share capital increase, which the airline said would help them get back on their feet.


Source: Cyprus Mail