Cyprus Airways (Larnaca) yesterday (January 9) ceased all operations after nearly 68 years and will be liquidated. The decision to shut down came after the European Commission ordered the airline to pay back over €65 million ($77 million) in what was deemed to be illegal state aid. The EC has been investigating this controversial state aid since February 2014 and the flag carrier has been struggling to reorganize and to continue operations.
Cyprus Airways commenced operations on October 6, 1947.
The airline issued this statement:
January 9, 2015
Following the adverse decision of the European Commission for Competition, issued January 9, on the application of the Republic of Cyprus of a Restructuring Plan for Cyprus Airways (Public) Ltd submitted in October 2013, the Board of Directors of Cyprus Airways has decided to initiate the procedure for voluntary liquidation and to that effect all necessary measures will be taken.
In the context of the above decision all operations of the company will be suspended as of the close of business January 9.
Cyprus Airways would like to warmly thank the millions of passengers who flew with the airline over the years, for their choice and support. Special thanks are also expressed to the staff of the airline as well as its associates, whose professionalism and dedication were always at the service of the passengers.
We are extremely honoured to have made a valuable contribution, over the last 68 years, to the development of the economy of Cyprus and its tourism industry in particular. We have flown the flag of our country worldwide with pride.
The government of Cyprus announced that it has decided to offer alternative arrangements to all passengers who have Cyprus Airways tickets. The cost of all alternative arrangements will be undertaken by the Republic.
The affected passengers of Cyprus Airways, who have arranged their travel with departure days up to and until 9/2/2015, can immediately contact the travel agency Top Kinisis Travel Public at the national telephone number 77787878, or if they are calling from overseas at the telephone number +357 22869999, in order to arrange for the issuance of a new flight ticket. For the remaining passengers, with departure date from 10/2/2015 and onwards, a new announcement will be made in the coming days.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. An historic photo of former American Airlines Boeing 707-123B 5B-DAP (msn 17635) in the 1977 color scheme.
Cyprus Airways aircraft slide show: