Cyprus Airways Pilot Strike Disrupts Flights

Some 2,700 passengers have been affected by a surprise strike by Cyprus Airways pilots protesting a restructuring plan for the ailing state airline, an airline official said Saturday.

"We canceled the whole flight schedule due to the surprise strike, which we were told about late last night," Cyprus Airways general manager Christos Kyriakides said.

The airline was forced to cancel 17 return flights on Saturday - including six to Britain and three to Greece - following the pilots' announcement of a 24-hour strike starting midnight (2200GMT) Friday.

The cancellations affected some 2,700 passengers, though efforts were underway to minimize the inconvenience, Kyriakides said.

The pilots union, which approved the rescue plan in January, accused Cyprus Airways of backtracking on an agreement over salaries. The airline's four other unions have approved the plan, which aims to save the airline 21.8 million Cypriot pounds (US$45.2 million; euro37.9 million) annually.

The airline's restructuring effort is aimed at securing European Union approval of a 70 million Cypriot pound (US$145 million; euro121 million) state-guaranteed loan.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.