Cyprus Turkish Airways deal means sacking most of staff

It is understandable that Buran Atakan, the head of  the airline workers union, should be upset. According to Cyprus Mail a copy of a leaked contract document outlining Atlas Jet’s proposed partnership deal includes the laying off of all 670 staff with the exception of pilot and cabin crews. All administrative running of the two airlines would be taken over by Atlas’ existing staff. The $100 million debt would however not be taken over by Atlas. This would be passed on to the TRNC government.

“If the Atlas Jet bid is accepted, that will be the end of our national airline,” Democrat Party (DP) leader Serdar stated. He had submitted an appeal to the court on the basis that forming a merger with Atlas Jet was against KTHYs  bylaws. The bid was rejected, with Denktash saying he would continue to fight.

Atlas Jet’s proposal promised to create at least $1 million profit per year, and to provide funds to pay staff until the airline was in the black. Currently KTHY is believed to be losing around $3.5 million per month, and staff have not been paid since March.

Cyprus Turkish Airlines currently has just four planes in service, all of which will be taken over and run by Atlas Jet’s management. Atlas itself already has 15 planes, a mixture of Boeings and Airbuses, flying to destinations in Turkey, the Middle East and a small number of destinations in Europe.

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