OPINION

The never-ending problems of OA

The fact that Olympic Airlines (OA) is in serious trouble is clear to everyone, from Deputy Economy Minister Petros Doukas, who has been trying to find a solution for the privatization of the ailing carrier, to the hordes of hassled air passengers who know that their transactions with the once-proud national carrier are most likely to end in inconvenience. The funny thing is that these problems have been passed from one government to the next for years now, without anyone having succeeded in curbing the problem, let alone solving it. Moreover, an exorbitant amount of money has been spent on putting the airline back on its feet without any concrete results. The only development we see is in OA’s problems, which seem to be growing all the time. It is not my place to attribute blame to anyone for this state of affairs, and in any case, everyone with any involvement in the management of OA must shoulder some of the blame, including ministers, directors, labor unions and workers. Nevertheless, it was the efforts of some of those individuals over the past few difficult years that have ensured that the embattled company managed to stay afloat. Now, with OA’s demise virtually assured, the very professionals entrusted with saving what they can of the ailing carrier have become weary with the effort and have all but given up. How else can one explain the systematic cancellation of flights earlier this week, ostensibly because of a lack of flight staff? The latter problem may have been solved following an agreement between OA’s management and stewards but the major problems still remain.