As one of 15 interested parties Ryanair had submitted a non-binding offer for Cyprus Airways. Among the others are Aegean Airlines (Greece), Blue Air (Romania), MEA (Lebanon) and Arkia Israeli Airline.
The cypriot government owns 93.67% of the ailing carrier, which has already received more than €100 million in state aid. A sale could be concluded before the end of the year.
The European Commission announced on 6 March 2013 that it has opened an investigation into whether the Cypriot government’s €73 million rescue loan in December 2012 and €31.3 million contribution to a capital increase in January 2013 are in breach of EU rules on state aid.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said he i primarily interested in securing a Cypriot air operators certificate (AOC) because he believes the Eastern Mediterranean market is underserved. „Ryanair had submitted an expression of interest (…) but we are not particulary interested in Cyprus Airways“
The deal would be Ryanair’s second airline aquisition. More than ten years ago the irish low-cost carrier bought Buzz, subbrand of the british KLM uk, and subsumed into its own operation.