Athens Airways bids for Olympic Airlines


ATHENS – Newly-launched Athens Airways said it and U.S. based charter operator SkyOne submitted a joint bid for Greece’s Olympic Airlines.

The deadline for binding bids in the Greek government’s tender for Olympic was last Friday and an announcement on bidders is expected on Wednesday. Seven investors had submitted non-binding offers in December.

Greece has wrangled for years with Brussels over state aid to Olympic. The latest attempt to sell the carrier has been approved by the European Commission, which agreed to suspend action over illegal state subsidies if the sale went ahead.

Athens Airways is a recently launched private airline that plans to service domestic routes. It took delivery of its first aircraft, a 49-seat Embraer ERJ-145, in December and expects three more by March this year.

SkyOne is a charter company that flies to Europe and Asia. Its fleet consists of Boeing aircraft and VIP jets.

Greece split Olympic into three units in Sept last year to facilitate the selloff. The main part of the sale, which comprised the flight business and routes, failed to attract big European names.

Also being sold were the carrier’s ground handling and aircraft maintenance operations, for which bids were likewise due by last Friday.