More than 15 applicants for Cyprus Airways

Ryanair and Aegean Airlines are among more than 15 applicants which have made a non-binding expression of interest to buy loss-making Cypriot flag-carrier Cyprus Airways, officials said on Thursday.

“The interest has surpassed our expectations but we need to point out that, at the present stage, we are simply recording that interest, so it doesn’t mean that the interest will be followed up by a bid,” Communications Minister Marios Demetriades told state radio on Thursday.

“Aegean and Ryanair have announced their interest and there are other smaller airlines which have expressed their interest as well, but most interested parties are not airlines,” he said, adding that the applicants will be evaluated at a later stage and will be called to submit binding offers by the autumn.

Reportedly, other firms which expressed an interest in buying Cyprus Airways assets include Israel-based Arkia, Romania’s no-frills Blue Air, Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines, as well as Spanish group Arevenca in collaboration with Fly Aruba.

Cyprus Airways is struggling to survive against intense competition on its most popular routes to Greece and London.