Cyprus Airways, which is part of a consortium bidding for Greece's ailing flag-carrier Olympic Airways, posted a 2.1 million Cyprus pound (three million dollar) drop in after tax profits for 2000, results published Wednesday, March 28, showed.
Pretax profits for 2000 were 5.6 million pounds against 8.8 million in 1999. After tax profits were also lower, at 3.9 million pounds last year compared to six million the year before.The company blamed higher fuel prices for spiraling running costs and turning expected 12.5 million pound operating profits into a 700,000 pound operating loss.
The blow was softened by a 2.5 million pound windfall from the United Nations in compensation for losses sustained during the Gulf War 10 years ago, and the same amount in insurance payments for damage to an engine being shipped to Britain for maintenance.
Better results are projected for 2001 based on sales so far and the anticipated increase in turnover as a result of the leasing of two new aircraft.
Total revenue in 2000, excluding income from duty free shops, rose by 10.2 percent to 160 million pounds, thanks to more passengers, better performing fares and improved commercial agreements with other airlines. But operating costs rose by 14.1 percent to 165.2 million pounds, due primarily to a huge increase in the cost of fuel.
The results were announced as thousands of tourists were stranded on Cyprus or prevented from getting there Wednesday by a 24-hour civil servants strike that paralyzed the holiday island's two international airports and other essential services.
Cyprus Airways said it had a total of 40 scheduled flights carrying 3,500 passengers grounded until after the end of the strike at 7:30 a.m. (0430 GMT) on Thursday. Cyprus Airways spokesman Tassos Angeli told AFP that leasing four planes to ensure everyone traveled Thursday would come to several hundred thousand pounds. — (AFP, Nicosia)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)