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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-08-28

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


<title>Larnaca to Athens for £79 - thatís the cheapest deal as CY and Olympic cut a range of fares </title> A:hover {color: #800000; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold}

Saturday, August 28, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Larnaca to Athens for £79 - thatís the cheapest deal as CY and Olympic cut a range of faresJean ChristouCYPRUS Airways (CY) and Olympic Airways yesterday announced reduced fares and special offers from September 1 between Cyprus and Greece. On certain flights the economy return fare has been slashed to £79 from £144.The two countries operate a closed, bi- lateral arrangement which allows their national carriers a monopolistic advantage.CY was first to announce the reductions. At a press conference in Nicosia, chairman Takis Kyriakides said the standard return fare from Larnaca to Athens would be cut from £144 to £129.New return fares being introduced by both airlines include a £99 night fare and special morning and evening APEX fares of £89 and £79 respectively. APEX bookings must be made at least ten days in advance and cannot be altered or refunded. Both airlines have also cut the cost of flying to and from Salonika.In addition CY will, from November 1, introduce a special family fare on morning flights to Athens where one spouse will pay £129 and the other just £65, as will children under 18. A similar deal on night flights will be £99 and £50 respectively.Special offers for students are to be decided at a later date."It's the first time we have offered such low fares on the Athens route," CY spokesman Tassos Angelis told the Cyprus Mail.Kyriakides told journalists that the new fares will offer Cypriots a greater access to Greece. "Similar fares will be made available to the Greek public which will result in an increased tourist flow from Greece to Cyprus," he said.But he said CY would sustain a substantial loss in revenue as a result of the reductions. Larnaca-Athens is one of only three profitable routes for Cyprus Airways Ė the other two are London Heathrow and Tel Aviv. All three routes are protected by bi-lateral agreements.Flights to the three destinations brought in a total of £9m million for CY last year, out of a total revenue of £127.7 million. CY carried a total of 1.3 million passengers during the year, up 4.5 per cent on 1997.The move to reduce fares was prompted by the government's recent threat to liberalise air links between Larnaca and Athens, following two June strikes in a pilotsí dispute over promotions which crippled the airline.It is also an attempt to induce more Greeks to travel here and to help reduce fares for Cypriots. Some 70,000 Greeks visit Cyprus every year, out of a total of over two million tourists.Since talk of liberalising the Athens route began, four other Greek airlines have expressed an interest in operating flights to Cyprus. Talks are expected to begin soon between the two governments on further liberalisation. Full liberalisation of air transport in Cyprus was not expected to come about until the island joins the EU, it is hoped, in 2002 giving CY time to become more competitive. Such a move now would spell disaster for the troubled national carrier which would not itself be able to enjoy the benefits of EU deregulation.The CY group, which comprises the national carrier, its charter firm Eurocypria, Cyprair Holidays and Duty Free Shops Ltd at the island's two airports, recorded a pre-tax profit of £10 million in 1998 compared to a loss of £3.2 million in 1997.
  • [02] Anastassiades launches scathing attack on party dissenters
  • [03] Larnaca resignations 'did the trick'
  • [04] Cyprus problem talks expected to move to New York
  • [05] Annan offers three names to replace Hercus
  • [06] Shares return to winning ways
  • [07] Cabaret owners threaten to sue over restrictions
  • [08] Diaspora appeals to Clinton on Cyprus

  • [01] Larnaca to Athens for £79 - thatís the cheapest deal as CY and Olympic cut a range of faresJean ChristouCYPRUS Airways (CY) and Olympic Airways yesterday announced reduced fares and special offers from September 1 between Cyprus and Greece. On certain flights the economy return fare has been slashed to £79 from £144.The two countries operate a closed, bi- lateral arrangement which allows their national carriers a monopolistic advantage.CY was first to announce the reductions. At a press conference in Nicosia, chairman Takis Kyriakides said the standard return fare from Larnaca to Athens would be cut from £144 to £129.New return fares being introduced by both airlines include a £99 night fare and special morning and evening APEX fares of £89 and £79 respectively. APEX bookings must be made at least ten days in advance and cannot be altered or refunded. Both airlines have also cut the cost of flying to and from Salonika.In addition CY will, from November 1, introduce a special family fare on morning flights to Athens where one spouse will pay £129 and the other just £65, as will children under 18. A similar deal on night flights will be £99 and £50 respectively.Special offers for students are to be decided at a later date."It's the first time we have offered such low fares on the Athens route," CY spokesman Tassos Angelis told the Cyprus Mail.Kyriakides told journalists that the new fares will offer Cypriots a greater access to Greece. "Similar fares will be made available to the Greek public which will result in an increased tourist flow from Greece to Cyprus," he said.But he said CY would sustain a substantial loss in revenue as a result of the reductions. Larnaca-Athens is one of only three profitable routes for Cyprus Airways Ė the other two are London Heathrow and Tel Aviv. All three routes are protected by bi-lateral agreements.Flights to the three destinations brought in a total of £9m million for CY last year, out of a total revenue of £127.7 million. CY carried a total of 1.3 million passengers during the year, up 4.5 per cent on 1997.The move to reduce fares was prompted by the government's recent threat to liberalise air links between Larnaca and Athens, following two June strikes in a pilotsí dispute over promotions which crippled the airline.It is also an attempt to induce more Greeks to travel here and to help reduce fares for Cypriots. Some 70,000 Greeks visit Cyprus every year, out of a total of over two million tourists.Since talk of liberalising the Athens route began, four other Greek airlines have expressed an interest in operating flights to Cyprus. Talks are expected to begin soon between the two governments on further liberalisation. Full liberalisation of air transport in Cyprus was not expected to come about until the island joins the EU, it is hoped, in 2002 giving CY time to become more competitive. Such a move now would spell disaster for the troubled national carrier which would not itself be able to enjoy the benefits of EU deregulation.The CY group, which comprises the national carrier, its charter firm Eurocypria, Cyprair Holidays and Duty Free Shops Ltd at the island's two airports, recorded a pre-tax profit of £10 million in 1998 compared to a loss of £3.2 million in 1997.

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    Saturday, August 28, 1999

    [02] Anastassiades launches scathing attack on party dissenters

    By Martin Hellicar

    RULING Disy yesterday continued to tear itself apart over Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle, with party leader Nicos Anastassiades hitting out at dissenting deputy Prodromos Prodromou.

    Prodromou's crime, in Anastassiades's book, was to publicly voice his concerns over how many members of the United Democrats (UD) -- the junior coalition partners -- were given cabinet seats.

    The new Health Minister, Frixos Savvides, and the new government spokesman, Michalis Papapetrou, are both from George Vassiliou's UD. Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous, also a UD man, kept his post in the reshuffle, while Vassiliou heads the island's EU accession talks team.

    Prodromou claims giving so many posts to the UD suggests the government is veering from the foreign policy line President Clerides promised to follow when winning the 1993 and 1998 elections. Clerides ousted Vassiliou from power in 1993 by promising a more hard-line approach to settlement talks.

    Prodromou's fears that the UD had been handed too much power in the reshuffle have been echoed by other Disy members, including deputy Demetris Sillouris.

    Anastassiades yesterday released a terse letter he sent to Prodromou admonishing him for his rebellion.

    "I consider your position that the new government make-up sends the wrong 'political messages', which indicate divergence from stated policy on the national issue, to be politically groundless and irresponsible," the Disy leader told Prodromou.

    "The position of the government and the party concerning the desired solution for our national problem remains unchanged," Anastassiades added.

    He told Prodromou he was guilty of repeating "parrot-style" the criticisms of Disy and the government that usually came from the mouths of opposition leaders.

    The Disy leader pulled no punches in his attack on the party upstart. He charged Prodromou with acting in a "self-promoting" manner and with dragging the party image and standing through the mud by publicly questioning majority party decisions.

    "I want to make it clear both to you and to the few, fortunately, others who have the same tendency as you to ignore the opinions of the majority, that I will not let the standing and name of the party be undermined for the sake of the personal ambitions of any member," Anastassiades stated.

    Eleni Vrahimi, member of the Disy political bureau, also laid into both Prodromou and fellow dissenter Sillouris.

    She said both deputies should keep their discordant opinions to themselves.

    "Of course we have varying positions and thoughts among ourselves, but this does not mean any one of us can make public his positions if they clash with or contradict majority decisions," she insisted.

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    Saturday, August 28, 1999

    [03] Larnaca resignations 'did the trick'

    THE MASS resignation of Disy's Larnaca executive has got the whole government scrambling to do the town favours, Disy deputy Andreas Mouskos claimed yesterday.

    The executive resigned on Wednesday night in protest at the exclusion of Larnaca natives from the new cabinet announced earlier in the day. The committee returned to their posts barely 24 hours later, after Disy ministers and top party officials sped to give assurances that Larnaca's problems topped their list of concerns.

    Larnaca deputy Mouskos -- the man the Larnaca executive had wanted for Communications Minister -- insisted yesterday that the temporary resignations had worked their magic.

    But Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said things were not quite as Mouskos put it.

    Mouskos said the man who pipped him for the Communications Ministry post, Paphos Disy deputy Averof Neophytou, was now falling over himself to help Larnaca out.

    Mouskos said the new minister was eager to help Larnaca shake off its image as the poor relative of Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos and Ayia Napa.

    "We now feel confident that our issues will be promoted through Mr Neophytou, but the Interior Minister has also showed great willingness to help," Mouskos said. "We have been informed that the President himself has given clear directions to his new ministers to consider Larnaca as the first town they should concern themselves with," he added.

    But Papapetrou balked at the idea of ministers dropping everything to rush to Larnaca's aid. He said it was mere coincidence that Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou was beginning his round-the-island tour of communities in Larnaca next week.

    "Ministers will be close to the people in Larnaca and in all other areas, we have already announced that the Interior Minister will chair 36 meetings in all Cyprus and not just Larnaca," he told his press briefing.

    He said no party executive could force the government to do anything.

    "Of course no one can demand or order or impose anything on the government. But any party, whether it be in the government or opposition, can submit suggestions to the government and the relevant ministers," the spokesman said.

    Mouskos also said his being passed over in Wednesday's reshuffle was not the reason for the Larnaca executive's rebellion. He said a feeling that the town was being consistently ignored was the reason.

    But he added that a Larnaca minister would be no bad thing. "We feel sure that if we had a deputy from Larnaca in an important ministry then projects could be fast-tracked," he said.

    Larnaca has for years been suffering from a lack of investment in roads, the port, the airport and infrastructure in general.

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    Saturday, August 28, 1999

    [04] Cyprus problem talks expected to move to New York

    By Jean Christou

    DISCUSSIONS on the Cyprus problem are expected to move to New York in the coming weeks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

    Plans for Britain's special envoy Sir David Hannay to visit the island next month have already been altered and he will head to New York instead.

    Sir David has already requested a meeting with Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides in New York. Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday plans for President Clerides' visit to New York had not yet been finalised.

    British High Commissioner Edward Clay, speaking after an hour-long meeting with Clerides yesterday, said they discussed "prospects for the approach to the settlement of the Cyprus problem, which we all hope will receive an impetus this Autumn.

    UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan is expected to issue an invitation soon to the two sides to return to direct talks. The Turkish side has tried to set preconditions relating to recognition and confederation which the Greek Cypriot side says it will never accept.

    Clay said Britain intended to work hard towards a settlement and said he believed the Cypriots themselves wanted a solution.

    Asked if the prospects were good, or at least better than in the past, Clay said: "They are as good as we can make them and we intend to make them even better."

    Cassoulides is currently in Norway holding official talks with his counterpart there.

    Later next month, the US State Department's co-ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, is expected to visit the island, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday.

    He said the government's information was that Weston would not be bringing any new proposals.

    The US has pledged that its efforts towards bringing about a bizonal, bicommunal federation will be stepped up this year.

    On Wednesday, former US envoy Richard Holbrooke, now America's ambassador at the UN, blamed the Turkish side for the failure to move forward, a statement that has been welcomed by the Greek Cypriot side.

    The government believes the US should direct its efforts towards Ankara to persuade it to abandon its intransigent position.

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    Saturday, August 28, 1999

    [05] Annan offers three names to replace Hercus

    U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL Kofi Annan has put forward three names to replace Unficyp Chief of Mission Dame Ann Hercus, the government said yesterday.

    Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the three names had been forwarded to the government and to the Turkish Cypriot side and also to Athens, Ankara and London.

    "The UN Secretary-general has asked our feelings on three possible names for the replacement of Dame Ann Hercus," Papapetrou said.

    He said the names would not be publicised.

    "If there are any opinions, they will be passed on to the Secretary-general who had the political courtesy to ask for opinion of the Cyprus government, " Papapetrou said.

    He said he assumed all three were people Annan considered capable of doing the job. Unconfirmed reports suggested one of the candidates was former Norwegian foreign minister Jan Egeland.

    Cassoulides is currently in Norway for talks with officials there and expects to have a meeting with Egeland at the latter's request.

    Dame Ann announced earlier this month that she was resigning her post for personal reasons. She will officially end her term in office on September 30.

    She had been engaged in secret shuttle talks between the two sides for almost a year, with the aim of bringing the two leaders back to the negotiating table.

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    Saturday, August 28, 1999

    [06] Shares return to winning ways

    By Hamza Hendawi

    MARKET shares returned to their winning ways yesterday after a one-day slump, closing 3.61 per cent up at 376.54 points, a new record close.

    Volume was £42.59 million, of which £17.02 million went to bank shares, a great deal considering that market powerhouse Bank of Cyprus remains outside the market.

    Share prices ended 1.81 per cent down on Thursday, snapping a run of eight consecutive record closes which saw shares appreciate in value by nearly 25 per cent.

    Yesterday's session was again held against the backdrop of continued tension between the Cyprus Stock Exchange authorities and brokers over the question of delays in the clearance of transactions. Members of the brokers' association, led by veteran trader Louis Clappas, yesterday met with President Glafcos Clerides and Finance Minister Takis Klerides.

    During the 30-minute meeting, the brokers briefed Clerides on the dispute and urged the President to intervene to end the problem.

    State CyBC radio said it had learned that the brokers were seeking a reduction in the market's five-session week to three and a further reduction in the length of the trading sessions until the backlog of transactions was cleared.

    Brokerages claim that the introduction of an automated trading system in May should have been put off until the exchange set up a Central Depository and Clearance System. Automated trading has sparked a dramatic increase in the number of transactions -- from 500 to 5,000 daily.

    The exchange counters by saying that the brokerages should invest some of their resources in recruiting and training personnel to do their backroom work.

    Having swiftly returned to positive territory yesterday, the market ended its three weeks without the Bank of Cyprus on a positive note.

    The Bank of Cyprus titles return to the bourse on Monday after a two-for- one split dictated by the Group's restructuring. Their comeback is expected to set the market ablaze sending volume close to £60 million or more. The share last traded at £12.80 but is widely tipped to return at £7 or more on its first post-split day.

    On its last day as market supremo, The Popular Bank yesterday rose by 86.50 cents to close at £11.32. The share attracted volume of £14.42 million, accounting for 32.6 per cent of the day's entire trade. Its warrants also had a field day, notching up £1.40 to close at £18.23 with a volume of £4.13 million.

    Hellenic Bank also rose, by 83.50 cents, to close at £14.63 with a turnover of nearly 200,000 shares worth £2.86 million.

    Louis Cruise Lines, whose market debut earlier this month received unprecedented hype but was soon embroiled in controversy, ended its latest miserable run. It finished up by 15.50 cents to close at £2.49 with a volume of £1.11 million.

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    Saturday, August 28, 1999

    [07] Cabaret owners threaten to sue over restrictions

    By Charlie Charalambous

    CABARET owners are preparing to sue the government for loss of earnings following moves to restrict opening hours and the number of dancers allowed to ply their trade.

    The decision to take legal action was taken by Limassol's Association of Cabaret Owners, which is angered at proposals made to further regulate their businesses.

    A ministerial committee has decided that the number of foreign women allowed to work at cabarets -- more often than not as strippers -- should be drastically reduced, and wants to impose a mandatory 3.30am closing time.

    Club bosses are now seeking legal advice to find ways in which they can prevent any changes to existing regulations.

    Many argue that huge sums have been invested in cabarets and the need to secure licences for foreign girls.

    If the number of available permits are reduced, owners say they will either go out of business or suffer crippling losses, and will therefore seek substantial compensation.

    Threats by owners of establishments popularly blamed for the rising tide of organised crime on the island are unlikely to make much headway with a government determined to stamp out the prostitution.

    The police have made it a priority to come down hard on the drugs, gambling and prostitution rackets closely associated with the cabaret scene in Limassol.

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    Saturday, August 28, 1999

    [08] Diaspora appeals to Clinton on Cyprus

    By Jim Kapsis

    THE WORLD Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Co- ordinating Committee for Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) concluded their 11th World Congress yesterday in Nicosia, marking the end of a five-day review of the Cyprus problem.

    On the conference's final day, representatives from Cypriot communities in Europe, Africa, and North America drafted an impassioned letter to US President Bill Clinton, imploring him to apply "the same determination and expediency" in promoting "a peaceful and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem" as was demonstrated "by the US and Nato in restoring human rights in Kosovo."

    This apparent support for Nato's actions in Yugoslavia is in marked contrast to the multiple demonstrations in front of the US embassy in Nicosia to protest Nato's three-month bombing of Serbia.

    The Overseas Cypriots called on Clinton to "personally take the initiative to bring the required pressure on Turkey to participate productively in achieving a solution to the Cyprus problem" and demanded that a solution be based on "international law" and "America's democratic principles."

    Participants also applauded Richard Holbrooke, the new US ambassador to the United Nations, for his "brave statements" regarding the "shameful" misconduct of US foreign policy in 1974 and for his admission that the intransigence of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership remained the main deterrent to a peaceful settlement on Cyprus.

    The diaspora conference concluded at a time when a US diplomatic initiative on Cyprus appears imminent. Donald Bandler, the new US Ambassador to Cyprus, has already expressed to President Clerides and to the Cypriot public that "the United States will do all it can to help them find the right path to create the circumstances in which a settlement can be reached."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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