The Closure of Eurocypria: Consequences of Tourism (2011)
As an inhabitant of government-controlled Famagusta I could not have been left unmoved by the hasty closure of Eurocypria, not only from the humanitarian point of view, with regard to the fate of the 320 employees who in one night found themselves on the streets, but also because of the negative impact that this will have for tourism, in particular for the government-controlled areas of Famagusta. I hope and pray that apart from the 320 employees of Famagusta, to whom I express my sympathies and support with all the means at my disposal, that no other traditional Cypriot tourism workers – not only in government-controlled Famagusta but the whole of Cyprus - will have the same fate.
First of all, I believe that it was a hasty and unplanned move which will certainly have negative effects on tourism, particularly in government-controlled Famagusta.
I also believe that this will have negative impact on “Cypriot air transport” in general, but this is a matter to be analysed in another article.
I believe the wise thing would be to reorganise and improve the company, to punish those responsible for the bad management –because that is what it is- and the company should continue with the appropriate personnel to contribute to the country and to tourism in general. If the government does not want Eurocypria, it would be more fair and humane if it sold the company, or at least tried to do so. We would not have had 320 unemployed people at this difficult time of economic crisis. The government acted hastily and in a state of panic, with all the consequences which that entails.
Much has been said and heard and I am surprised that the Attorney General has not yet ordered an inquiry! For example, one of the leased aircraft had a monthly rent of $430,000, whereas the current price for this type of aircraft is $270,000 a month!!! What does this mean? It means that something is not right. But what did the government, which is the owner, do? Has it punished those who made the ‘mistake’? Of course not! It punished the ordinary employees who were not to blame for anything… whose severance pay has not yet been decided and humiliating amounts are being discussed. If such amounts were for political refugees they would certainly be much higher and they would have already been paid!!!
Moreover, I am still not convinced that Cyprus Airways will cover the gap left by Eurocypria as regards the transportation of tourists during the summer season. I believe all that has been said is just empty words to hide the truth from the public….Summer is coming and it we will soon see who is right and who is wrong. In simple mathematics what will Cyprus Airways do in order to bring the 270,000 tourists brought to Cyprus by Eurocypria? Will they abolish other routes of their own and begin to perform chartered flights?Another negative factor is the layout and number of seats of Cyprus Airways aircraft: they have only 162 seats compared to Eurocypria which has 189. Lastly, is the ticket price of Cyprus Airways which are much higher than Eurocypria and will therefore deter many tour operators and travel agencies from choosing Cyprus.
I say that Cyprus Airways should decide what to do about the loss-making Airbus A330 - one of which is parked at Larnaca airport having a holiday - and stop making empty statements.
Finally, one can only wonder why after the closure of Eurocypria Cypriot investors did not show any real interest as they should have done…Is something frightening them? Are they afraid of the open support of the government towards Cyprus Airways?
If that is the case, it is a big mistake which is contrary to the spirit of the free market and by extension also contrary to the European spirit, and the consequences for the economy of the island will be very serious.
I urge the business world to look more seriously at this prospect because I have knowledge of the ‘good’ rich human resources of Eurocypria which require only to be utilised in the right way before they are scattered to the four winds to be exploited by strangers.