Helios to be grounded after more problems?

The Cypriot government said yesterday that it is examining the possibility of grounding all Helios Airways planes after one of its aircraft turned back to Larnaca airport twice in three days due to technical problems. Authorities have been keeping a close eye on the low-cost airliner after a Helios flight was involved in Greece’s worst-ever aviation disaster in August, killing all 121 people on board. Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday that the grounding of an airline is covered by strict rules and that care must be taken by all involved. «We want to see if the law allows us to do this without the risk of facing huge compensation claims later from the company if the fleet is grounded,» said Papadopoulos. Cypriot authorities, however, took the first step by temporarily grounding one of Helios’s planes, a Boeing 737-800, after it returned mid-flight to Larnaca on Friday and again on Sunday due to a problem with the air-flow system to the engine. Civil aviation engineers and Boeing experts later examined the plane and said it could resume normal service.