Cyprus Airways ceases flights under EU sanction

Cyprus Airways has stopped operating
Cyprus Airways has stopped operating

Cyprus Airways has been forced to ground its flights after the EU said it would have to repay illegal aid from the Cypriot government.

The EU said the national carrier has breached regulations for receiving more than EUR65 million (EGP50m) from the government between 2007 and 2013.

Struggling companies can only be given aid under a ‘one time, last time’ notion, under EU rules.

The Cypriot government owns 93% of the airline and has been looking for investors, with Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary thought to be one of those interested in the carrier.

An investigation was carried out after repeated state aid was approved for the airline and criticised restructuring plans as unrealistic, according to the BBC.

A statement on the airline’s website said: “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.”

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