Cyprus Airways now defunct, but where have its planes gone?
The Cypriot national carrier, Cyprus Airways, ceased operations last Friday after being ordered by the EU Commission to repay over €65 million (£50 million) in illegal state aid.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Cyprus Airways had no chance of becoming viable without continued state subsidies, meaning money paid out in 2012 and 2013 as part of a restructuring package would have to be recovered. The restructuring plan was ‘based on unrealistic assumptions’ the EU Commission said.
The government already owns 93 percent of Cyprus Airways, had bailed the airline out in 2007 and 2013, and had searched unsuccessfully for outside investors.
Vestager said: "Cyprus Airways has received large quantities of public money since 2007 but was unable to restructure and become viable without continued state support. Injecting additional public money would only have prolonged the struggle without achieving a turn-around.”
Once a suitor to acquire then troubled Greek carrier Olympic, Cyprus Airways has seen cheaper carriers muscle in on its more lucrative routes, particularly to Greece and the United Kingdom. It has been making losses for years.
Now it emerges the company has stored some of its planes in a remote Welsh airfield in an attempt to protect its assets. The embattled airline flew four of its A320s to the Ministry of Defence airfield at St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan and a fifth is expected to be flown there too.
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