Olympic Airlines Loss Widens

December 10, 2006

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Greece's ailing state carrier Olympic Airlines, posted a net loss of EUR123.7 million (USD$163.4 million) for 2005, based on financial statements published in Greek newspapers.

The European Commission is in a legal battle with Greece over subsidizing the loss-making carrier in the past. In October it asked the EU's top court to impose daily fines of more than 10,000 euros on Athens until it recovers the cash.

The Commission's move refers to about EUR160 million (USD$211.4 million) in state aid given to the airline from 1995 to 2002.

Olympic reported sales of EUR715.2 million (USD$944.9 million) in 2005, up from EUR642.8 million (USD$849.2 million) a year earlier. But its losses widened from EUR87 million (USD$114.9 million) in 2004.

Greece has made numerous attempts to find a buyer for the airline without success.

(Reuters)