Cyprus | Posted:

Cyprus Airways has put together a contingency plan to be executed in the event the European Commission rejects a proposed turnaround plan for the struggling airline. Under the plan, unveiled at a news conference in Nicosia by Cyprus Airways board chairman, Tony Antoniou, the carrier's wholly-owned tour operating subsidiary, Cyprair Tours, would apply for an air operator certificate. Once granted, Cyprair Tours would inherit Cyprus Airways' traffic rights with all staff at Cyprus Airways to be laid off and then rehired at the new Cyprair Tours. The airline would then be built from the ground up, Mr Antoniou said. According to the Cyprus Mail, the plan is still in its early stages with foreign consultants having been hired. Cyprus Airways' EUR54million restructuring plan was submitted to Brussels earlier this year and includes provision for the downsizing of both staff and the fleet with only six A320-200s to be retained for operations. Mr Antoniou also disclosed that the hunt for a strategic partner for the State, which owns a 70% stake in Cyprus Airways, is progressing well with various undisclosed foreign airlines and investors having shown a “serious interest”.