Investors still eyeing Olympic despite woes

A Greek-American consortium of investors that has signed a preliminary agreement to buy Olympic Airlines (OA) said yesterday it is still interested in the carrier despite a recent European Union decision ordering it to repay state aid. The EU told Greece last week to recover hundreds of millions of euros from OA due to illegal state aid it received from the previous Socialist government – a decision that could spur its financial collapse. Costas Alexakis, who represents the consortium in its negotiations with the Greek government, said that the investors are prepared to take on Olympic Airlines and its problems. The consortium has plans to develop the airline by purchasing another eight planes and opening an office in New York, Alexakis said. The consortium, consisting of investment company Olympic Investors and its US partner York Capital, signed a preliminary agreement to buy the airline last month. Meanwhile, travel agents called on the government yesterday to do all it can to keep OA flying to help bolster the country’s tourism industry.