OA to go on the block again

A new tender for the sale of a majority stake in Greece’s ailing flag carrier, Olympic Airlines, will be launched after the conclusion of the Olympic Games, the company’s president, Efthymios Papageorgiou, said yesterday. Speaking at the Athens Business Club 2004, Papageorgiou said a new business plan will be soon prepared for the airline, regardless of who will be the new shareholder, adding that the company has signed a new two-year contract with staff, securing labor peace. He accused his predecessors of mismanagement, describing the company’s recent experiences as traumatic, which hurt customers’, shareholders’ and the European Commission’s confidence in the carrier. He said the measures he had adopted included a cut in waste, the drafting of a budget, a review of the business plan and the reduction of the airline’s fleet to realistic numbers. He added that, during the last four months under his management, steps were taken toward improving the quality of offered services, flight delays were reduced and the company’s pricing policy was adjusted to market conditions. He added that Olympic Airlines for the first time this summer made attractive offers on its international flights, leading to a great increase in passenger traffic, which has numbered 1,500,000 in the last three months.

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