Olympic Air to fly public service routes for free

The Transport Ministry said yesterday that Olympic Air will continue to provide flights for 24 public service routes as an interim measure until a new tender can be held. The ministry said the interim period will last until the end of November and possibly until the end of the year. «This transitional solution secures reliable flights for the public service routes without costing the Greek state,» the ministry said in a statement. Earlier this week, Marfin Investment Group (MIG), the owner of Olympic Air, offered to fly the public service routes without state subsidies after Aegean Airlines had offered to provide the service for half the amount the government currently pays for the routes. Meanwhile, Aegean said yesterday it sees opportunities to expand its fleet as other carriers cancel orders for airplanes due to their inability to pay for the aircraft. The company said it has 230 million euros in cash and may add four planes to its fleet.