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OA rethinks direct Athens-Melbourne link

Author: George Papadopoulos / Date: Fri, 10/26/2007 - 12:54

Olympic Airways has taken a step back from its recent announcement that it intends to cancel the national carrier`s direct Athens-Melbourne flight...

Olympic Airways has taken a step back from its recent announcement that it intends to cancel the national carrier`s direct Athens-Melbourne flight, following the uproar it caused in Greece and among the Greek diaspora in Australia.
During a press conference, managing director Rod Lynch, who emphasised he was not Greek and did not work on the basis of emotion, said that one of OA`s two flights to Australia - Melbourne and Sydney - would be cancelled and a decision taken by March 27.
Lynch reiterated the dire straits in which OA finds itself, saying that the firm`s Australian routes result in 7 billion drachmas in losses annually. Additionally, he stated that 17 aircraft will be sold by 2003 and 15 new planes bought. From March 27, three flights will leave from Athens for London daily while one flight will depart for Gatwick direct from Thessaloniki. Significantly, he pointed out that 500 new staff will be hired this year.
Lynch also announced routes to Tehran and Manchester and said passenger load on OA flights had risen to 81 percent.
In an effort to put pressure on OA, a delegation of Greeks from Australia is heading to Greece to meet with the management.

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