Monarch Airlines folds - thousands being flown home
By Bejay Browne
Airlines has ceased trading resulting in hundreds of
thousands of holiday cancellations and 1,858 staff
redundancies, according to administrators.
collapse of Britain's fifth-biggest airline has adversely
affected around 860,000 passengers, 110,000 people are being
flown home from abroad and future bookings of 750,000
passengers have also been cancelled.
The company is
based at Luton Airport and operates from four other UK bases
– London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds Bradford
– flying to more than 40 destinations around the world. It
has been in business since 1968 and is the biggest UK
airline to ever cease trading.
Shares of the airlines’ rivals,
EasyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air rose as competition reduced
and the possibility to acquire some of its assets arose.
“I am truly sorry that it has ended like this,” Monarch
Chief Executive Andrew Swaffield told employees in a
Monarch‘s finances took a hit in 2016, amid
security concerns that affected travel to Tunisia, Turkey
and Egypt. The airline was bailed out by its owner Greybull
Capital a year ago.
“Monarch has really been a
victim of a price war in the Mediterranean,” Transport
Secretary Chris Grayling told Sky News.
said that he expected many of Monarch‘s staff to get jobs
KPMG and joint administrator of Monarch,
told Reuters that although a drop in income was the basis of
the airline’s problems, a drop in the pound following
Britain’s vote to leave the EU had made things even tougher.
Customers affected by the company’s collapse should
check the website monarch.caa.co.uk for advice and
information on flights back to the UK. The CAA assured that
passengers would be brought home on flights as close as
possible to their original times, dates and destination, but
noted that some delay was inevitable.
New Sculpture Park opens in Paphos
By Bejay Browne
sculpture park in Geroskipou has been inaugurated by the
Cyprus Minister of Education and Culture.
park is home to ten completed sculptures created by
different artists from all over the world, and has a theme
of ‘Myths and Sculptures,’ and is part of the official
‘Pafos2017’ cultural capital programme.
spokeswoman for Pafos2017 told the Paphos Post: “The
artists, started working at the park from the 9th September
2017 and the works were completed on Sunday 24th, when the
inauguration took place by the Minister, Kostas Kadis.”
The ten participating artists from Cyprus and abroad were
chosen from an open call for the 1st International Sculpture
Symposium and Sculpture Park and the Pafos2017 Organisation
received 207 proposals from 29 countries, she said.
The selected proposals which will be installed at the new
park are :“Muse”, Emin Petrosyan (Armenia),
“Europa”-“Ariadne auf Naxos”, Gao Meng (China) , “Fragile”,
Genti Tavanhili (Italy) , “Untitled”Giorgos Moisi
(Cyprus), “Sanctuary” Lanitis Christos (Cyprus) ,“The song
of Serene”, Arsenty Lysenkov (Cyprus), “ Ariadne’s thread‘’,
Negara Ana Maria Aurelia (Romania), “Great head of
Aphrodite”, Olaf Klepzig (Germany), “The Rebellion of
Prometheus”, Agnessa Petrova (Bulgaria) and “Antique torso”,
Viktor Korneev (Sweden).
The project is curated by
Paphos based artist Katerina Foukara, who came up with the
proposal for a sculpture park ahead of Paphos’ winning bid
for the European cultural capital title. She also has her
own studio in Kissonerga, and is well known for her
paintings, drawings and sculpture.
that the decision was made to use local Cypriot stone,
sourced from a quarry close to Limassol as a way to connect
the past with the present.
“This is a way to bring
the sculpture closer to history, as many of the antiquities
used this stone,” she said.
She added that that the
stone is like a limestone, but is quite hard and not smooth,
and unlike granite and other materials often used.
Pafos2017 spokeswoman said that entrance to the park is
free, adding that: “The sculpture park connects the artistic
objectives of a European Capital of Culture with a
substantial intervention in the urban landscape, creating
the ideal conditions for dialogue between people and the
arts, and also the environment.”
She added that such
projects prove that the European Capital of Culture creates
the conditions and framework which allow for sustainable
projects and provides a way for artists to contribute to the
aim to develope conscience and change mentality.
Foukara said that a variety of projects had won final
approval, some realistic, some abstract and using different
“The artists come from various
backgrounds and are well- known in their home countries,
they have been staying in Geroskipou for the last fifteen
days,” she added.
The curator said that this is the first time that she has
organised such a large, International project and that in
line with the idea of a symposium, the artists have been
spending time together, exchanging ideas and discussing
The sculptors have been fascinating visitors
to the park with their work in recent days, as they have
been able to watch cubes of stone being transformed into
stunning works of art and watch the different techniques
“It has been particularly interesting and
informative for the schools which have visited, as the onus
these days is on technology, video and so on. This is a more
organic approach,” she said.
Mayor of Geroskipou,
Michalis Pavlides, has been fully supportive of the venture
and aims to make the sculpture symposium an annual event
which will add further beautiful sculptures to the park
The new park is found close to the
central square of Geroskipou and was previously an unused
Ryanair announce new flights
By Bejay Browne
Ryanair announced seven new flights for Paphos due to get
underway next year, in the wake of a media storm concerning
The Irish airline, Europe’s
largest, recently said that it had messed up pilot’s annual
leave and didn’t have enough pilots to operate all flights
in the coming months. The airline has published full details
of which of its flights are being cancelled.
Paphos press conference to announce the new Cyprus flights,
David O’Brien, Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, candidly
admitted the airline’s failure and mistakes.
screwed up, “he said, “we deserve the blame, we made a
mistake and we’re sorry. We are going to compensate people
in accordance with EU regulations; our rostering people
attempted to give the pilots all of their annual leave in
nine months, due to changes in our annual year.”
said that the airline had simply given too much holidays to
“We have tried to concentre our
cancelations in airports where we have many other
alternative flights or routes where we have higher
frequencies, so that there are options for passengers,” he
However, he noted that its good news for
Cyprus and Paphos, was that the airline planned to invest a
further €100 million in Paphos, where it has its Cyprus
base. With the arrival of a third aircraft, the airline is
expecting a record summer in 2018. Ryanair also operates one
flight out of Larnaca, to Brussels.
announced that the seven new routes scheduled for Cyprus,
were all in emerging markets, with the exception of Ireland
and that the total now of 15 routes would deliver 800,000
customers per annum through Paphos airport next year. This
represents a 45 per cent increase.
The new routes,
which will fly two or three times a week using Paphos, are
to Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Dublin, Riga, Sofia and
“These routes are mostly developing and new
markets where employment is rising, unemployment is falling,
disposable income is rising and these are the new source
markets for tourism,” said O’Brien.
He said that
Ryanair was helping to diversify Cyprus’ source market and
also to attract different age groups. He noted that this was
going to be a particularly strategic move ahead of Brexit.
O’Brien issued a stark warning to Cyprus regarding
Brexit disruption to flights calling it, ‘highly likely’,
noting that flights to and from the UK could be adversely
affected and even brought to a halt.
with aviation is that we start planning our programme for
2019 early in 2018 and we will have to start to cutting back
late in 2018 if there’s no certainty,” he said.
warned that a hard Brexit would mean that there would be no
rules in place covering flights between Europe and the UK,
and if there were ‘no rules, there will be no flights’.
“I strongly recommend that the Cypriots put aviation at the
forefront of discussions as Malta is doing, because the
Germans and the French don’t care, and that will be a
problem for the rest of Europe especially the smaller
He said that this would be a strong
bargaining chip for Germany.
The Chief of Commercial
Operations explained that there would be an absence of a
policy, as the bilateral arrangements have been superseded,
and that the airlines operate within the open skies
framework within Europe.
“You can only enter it if
you accept the decisions of the European courts of justice
and the UK has said they are not accepting these decisions.”
He said that it’s conceivable that for a period of time
in 2019 no-one will be able to fly from the UK to
destinations including Cyprus, and advised that the Cyprus
government should use their voice to push the topic firmly
onto the agenda.
“Aviation is not covered by world
trade organisation rules, and Lufthansa and Air France
really don’t want Britain to be part of any open skies,” he
Chlorakas centre to get major
By Bejay Browne
A new look Chlorakas is due to emerge in the coming months
as an upgrading project in the Paphos village centre is
underway, according to the community leader.
Liasides said that the project comes with a €930,000 price
tag, 30 per cent of which is being covered by Chlorakas
community board and the remaining 70 per cent by the
government that recently announced funding for major
projects in the area.
Much of Chlorakas enjoys
spectacular views to the Paphos coast and is a popular place
to settle for foreign and local residents, as well as
“The upgrading work will take
nine months to complete. We are very pleased that this
project is finally getting underway,” he said.
concept has been on the table for around ten years, and due
to the concerted efforts of Liasides and the current
community board, they have managed to secure the green
The project will span Eleftherios Street in
the centre of the village, which is around 150m long, and
transform it with block paving, as well as part of the
square in the area. All utilities, such as Cyta
telecommunications cables and electricity supplies, will be
placed underground giving the area a more open feel, he
The community leader noted that the upgrade
will also beautify the area, enhancing its traditional feel,
whilst also tidying it up. Trees and shrubs will be planted
and new lighting installed.
He said: “This will be
of a huge benefit to the centre as currently it’s
disorganised. There is not much to do and not many people
visit here. There isn’t a proper place for people to go and
eat and we aim, with this upgrading, to encourage new
businesses to open in the area, this will mean more tourist
will visit rather than the handful that come to take photos
at the church. It will also mean more locals.”
Liasides said that in one or two years, the community board
plans to carry out the second phase of upgrading work which
will include the roads running south of the church.
“We are happy about this project and it’s a big step for us,
we will be leaving a legacy and a new look Chlorakas for the
next one hundred years or so.”
Paphos hosts visiting Israeli students
By Bejay Browne
A group of
students from Herzliya in Israel were hosted by a number of
Paphos families, a move which will further promote the
strong ties between the two towns, according to a
In March, the second part of
the twinning of Paphos with Herzliya took place in Israel,
in the presence of Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides,
the Israeli Tourism Minister, officials and numerous
The initial event saw a delegation from Israel
visit Paphos in October last year.
A spokesman for
the municipality said that the students visit will further
build on the strong foundations that are being laid for the
further development of Paphos’ relationship with Herzliya.
“This move sees the deepening of friendship and
cooperative relations between the two neighbouring countries
in an exchange of pupils between twinned cities Paphos and
Herzliya,” he said.
He added that in July a group of
Cypriot students enjoyed a similar hospitable experience
when they were in Herzliya.
Students from Paphos and
Herzliya along with their professors visited Paphos town
hall. This was followed by excursions to archaeological
sites and places of interest to familiarise the visitors
with the place and its people, said the spokesman.
“As part of their hospitality, Israeli students also had the
opportunity to visit the First Lyceum of Paphos where they
will participated in the lessons, and were informed about
the educational system of our country,” he added.
The Mayor of Paphos, Phedonas Phedonos, previously stated
that the relationship between Paphos and Herzliya aspires to
be a unique model, and a pillar of friendship and
cooperation between the two cities with different ethnic and
Herzliya is well established
in the field of technologies and Paphos municipality is
hoping that collaboration between the two will focus on this
speciality, as well as tourism.
considered part of the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Israel, home to
many high-tech companies, and residents of Herzliya are
among the wealthiest in Israel.
The spokesman said
that Paphos municipality’s policy is to look for advances in
this field and establish Paphos as the Cyprus centre for new
and emerging technologies.
arrivals hit new record
Tourist arrivals rose 14 per cent in
August, compared with the same period last year- mostly due
to an increase in visitors from secondary markets, according
to the Statistical Service, Cystat.
This is the
highest ever number of recorded visitors in August, they
said, a total of 523,651.
Arrivals from the UK,
traditionally Cyprus’ main source of tourism, rose 7.9 per
cent in August to 185,831, which more than offset a 2.5 per
cent drop in arrivals from Russia which fell to 119,829.
In August, arrivals from Israel almost doubled to
52,944 and arrivals from Greece and Germany climbed 19 per
cent and 55 per cent respectively, to 12,420 and 20,317. The
number of Polish tourists more than doubled to 8,537, and
visitors from Lebanon, Sweden and Norway rose 14,381, 18,303
For the period, January to August, there
was a rise of 15 per cent to 2,517,887 - the highest ever in
that time frame and exceed the number of arrivals in the
entire 2014, Cystat said. This was mainly due to increased
arrivals from other markets, as the number of British and
Russian visitors only rose 8.6 and 4.7 per cent.