Olympic Airways to follow Sabena case as Greek government thinks no alternative

The Greek government sees Sabena “solution” as the only solution to Olympic Airways (Greece’s national carrier) “problem”, as it aims to close the airline until 2008. The government’s new plan wants to create a new smaller airline which is going to be sold to a private company immediately after the closure of Greece’s national carrier.

“There is no alternative with the situation as it is” as representative of the government told to the Greek newspaper “Ta Nea”.

Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, the Prime Minister of Greece is also in favor of this solution and has already given the green light for its implementation. However, all these are going to take place as soon as European Union gives its approval.

As soon as this happens, the procedures for the closure of the Olympic Airways will be immediately effective and a new company will take its place, as it happened with Sabena in Belgium, and will have either the same brand name and logo with Olympic Airways or a related brand name and logo.

The new airline will inherit the largest part of the today’s route network of Olympic Airways and it will be in operation immediately after the closure of Olympic Airways.

The new carrier will mostly cover the local network and the basic European and regional destinations while its fleet will not exceed 30 airplanes.

However, the biggest difference with Sabena case is that in Greece due to its islands and the geographical morphology of the country, “the new company can not afford to be smaller from the one today.”

The aim of the plan is also to preserve the aircrafts’ maintenance base, ground handling services, air fuel companies and the pilots’ academy. All these activities are going to be sold to private companies.

If this is the case, then many people are facing to lose their job as fewer than the half will have to leave the company. Those who will remain in the new company will have to sign new work contracts.

The Greek government’s next step is to look for new investors for the smaller “Olympic Airways” solution but no interest has been registered so far.

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