OA’s cumulative loss grows despite rise in business

State carrier Olympic Airways remained in the red last year with a loss of 8.94 million euros inflating its accumulated net shortfall to more than half a billion euros. The airline saw sales rise 2.7 percent to 837.7 million euros in 2002 but suffered an operational loss of 73 million as the cost of goods sold exceeded revenues for yet another year. Based on its 2002 income statement, released yesterday, OA’s accumulated net loss widened to 512 million euros. The government is considering a new leaner, debt-free carrier carved out of Olympic with fewer pilots and reduced ground staff. Under the plan, the relaunched airline will take over Olympic’s logo, most of its schedules, aircraft and flying crew, leaving out non-core operations. The European Commission intends to review the plan to determine whether it breaks EU rules banning state aid to the sector. (Reuters)