NEWS

Olympic set to fly its full slate today

Olympic Airways intends to carry out all 96 scheduled flights today, using temporary staff to fill in for striking flight attendants. The only disruption will be the merging of Flight OA 902 with OA 904 and Flight OA 906 with OA 908 (all of which are Athens-Thessaloniki-Athens) and OA 514 with OA 510 (Athens-Iraklion-Athens). The airline’s balance sheet for 2002 was made public yesterday, revealing accumulated losses of 512.2 million euros and turnover in 2002 of 812.1 million. The Transport Ministry continued negotiations with representatives of flight attendants who will be on strike through Friday. Cabin attendants say they are being forced to take a large pay cut and to work more hours as Olympic Airways tries to reinvent itself as Olympic Airlines, leaving its debts behind. Although management is telling suitors that the cost of cabin crews annually will be 12.88 million euros, it is raising this to over 20 million in talks with flight attendants, who want 21 million. The union also wants 40-hour work weeks and cabin crews of 10, rather than eight or nine on large planes. Management plans to sign 17-month contracts with ground crews and give them raises of 6.5 percent, while the status of 4,200 people who will remain with the old Olympic Airways is unknown.