17 September 2008

Airways or Airlines, looks like settlement for Olympic

So the saga of Olympic looks like drawing to a close. Today it was agreed that the matter can close and on October 26th 2008 a new company Pantheon Airways will take to the skies with the assets and brand name of the old Olympic Airlines - itself successor to Olympic Airways.

The Greek Government can now sell the airline for what ever it wants to whom ever it wants as long as it is not itself. However either Olympic Airways or Olympic Airlines legal entity must payback to the Greek Government 850 million euros in illegal Greek Aid.

So some one write a rubber check and we are done.

The European Commission had already ordered Olympic Airlines -- the result of restructuring Olympic Airways in 2003 -- to repay hundreds of millions of euros in illegal payments.

"The Olympic Airways and Olympic Airlines cases have been a source of contention between the Commission and Greece since 1994," said Sr Tajani - the new Italian EU Transportation Commissioner. This is probably how he will rule in the "if it ever happens" restructuring of Alitalia.

The new private company has the rights to the Olympic name and trade makes. It will be called Pantheon Airways but trade as Olympic.

The deal calls for a restructuring of about 50% reduction but retaining the essential services to the Islands. Further the EU demanded a greater reduction but will probably be happy with this.

So we shall see.... Thanks to Professor Nick our man on the spot as it were.

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