OA strikers ground 22 flights today

Passengers of Olympic Airways will face further uncertainty today as the national carrier announced the cancelation of 22 flights after talks between management and striking cabin crew staff broke down over the weekend. Today will be the fourth day of the four-day strike waged by flight attendants, despite their action being ruled illegal by an Athenian court on Thursday. The airline’s 557 flight attendants have warned that they will turn their strike into an indefinite one if management decides to fire anyone. The head of their union, Taxiarchis Christou, repeated this to Athens’s Skai radio station over the weekend. He charged that management was not interested in solving the problem. The strikers oppose plans to cut salaries and jobs in view of the national carrier’s bid to reinvent itself as a slimmer company called Olympic Airlines. The new airline will be freed of the former company’s heavy debt burden in an effort to attract a buyer for a 51 percent stake. The new company will employ only some 1,800 people, with the rest of Olympic’s 6,100 staff staying at the old company and offering services to the new one, in an effort to prevent layoffs. Olympic’s management announced that today 25 flights will go ahead and 22 will be canceled. Subsidiaries Olympic Aviation and Macedonian Airlines will not be affected. It said that 86 of the group’s 107 scheduled flights would go ahead. Today’s canceled flights are OA 181 Athens-Thessaloniki-Dusseldorf; OA 175 Athens-Thessaloniki-Munich; flights OA 506, 518, 514, 510 and 504 from Athens to Iraklion; flights OA 530 and 536 from Athens to Hania; flights OA 916, 918, 914, 902 and 906 from Athens to Thessaloniki; flight OA 942 for Alexandroupolis; flight OA 718 for Rhodes; OA 736 for Kos; OA 600 for Corfu; OA 247 for Madrid; OA 159 for Vienna; OA 135 for Geneva; OA 205 for Paris. Yesterday, Olympic Airways canceled 26 flights, seven of which were international. On Saturday, the airline had announced the cancelation of 10 international and 11 domestic flights.