Qatar Airways eyes stake in Greek carrier

QATAR. Qatar Airways yesterday said it was evaluating Olympic Airlines for a stake in Greece’s state-run carrier.

“We have signed a letter of interest in Olympic; we are evaluating Olympic. We should be able to make a decision on Olympic sometime in the near future,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker told the local daily Gulf Times last night.

The privatisation of debt-laden Olympic Airlines was approved by parliament in Athens through a vote on 2 October this year, giving the green light to a scheme which has European Union approval.

In September, the EU had approved the sale scheme for the airline, which reportedly has considerable debts, but made approval conditional on the airline paying back state subsidies.

Olympic Airlines began operating in its current form in December 2003, following the integration of all Olympic Airways and Olympic Aviation flight operations by Macedonian Airlines, which was renamed to Olympic Airlines, and until then only performed charter flights, according to the company’s website. It serves some 78 destinations and has a fleet of 41.

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