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AVIATION: Cyprus Airways suitors to be reviewed on Friday

30 July, 2014

A Ministerial Committee will convene on Friday, August 1 to consider the initial expression of interest for the government’s 94% stake in Cyprus Airways, Communications and Works Minister Marios Demetriades said on Tuesday.
The Committee will assess the 20 companies that submitted non-binding expressions of interests (EoI) to acquire the Cypriot air carrier, after which it will proceed with the second stage, the submission of detailed proposals on how these companies plan to utilise the company or the company’s assets.
Greece’s Aegean Airlines is one of five airlines that submitted an EoI, with the remainder being travel companies and investment funds.
Ryanair, that the media had mistakenly reported as showing a keen interest, said that it will not proceed, as the Financial Mirror had reported last week that CEO Michael O’Leary had said he was more keen on expanding the airline’s operational base in Cyprus, even though airport tariffs are much higher than many other European destinations.
O’Leary said he was keen to see Cyprus Airways remain afloat and that he would look into enhancing Ryanair’s presence in the eastern Mediterranean.
Communications and Works Minister Marios Demetriades said that Cyprus Airways “needs a strategic investor to survive in the long term.” The Ministerial Committee reviewing the bids comprises the Ministers of Communications, Finance and Commerce, the Auditor-General and the consultants KPMG.
Furthermore, the Cyprus Airways board began assessing applications for the company’s next chief executive officer.