Olympic Airways has been renamed Olympic Airlines, but the Greek flag carrier is still hampered by debts and staff strikes.

The airline was relaunched on 12 December, with most of its €500 million ($613 million)in debts remaining with the old Olympic Airways, which kept the ground handling, cargo and technical divisions. The Greek government plans to sell these subsidiaries to help pay off the debts, and has appointed Ioanna Papadopoulou as chief executive of Olympic Airlines. Papadopoulou, who had been an adviser to the transport ministry and a member of Olympic Airways' board, succeeds former chief executive Dionysis Kalofonos.

However, with its debts in excess of €147 million, the new airline's privatisation has still to go ahead, as no investor has expressed interest in taking the 51% stake on offer. Olympic Airlines includes regional carrier Olympic Aviation and charter operator Macedonian Airlines, both former subsidiaries of Olympic Airways. The airline is facing strikes by cabin crew, who refuse to accept the financial package offered by the Greek government.

Source: Flight International