Cyprus Airways : Why so many pilots?

Cyprus Mail reader asks an interesting question:

Having just read your article on the Cyprus Airways pilots’ legal action against the board, I cannot believe their audacity.

They talk about how the board should remove excess staff. There are 71 pilots for a fleet of six aircraft. That is an amazing amount of pilots for such a small fleet. That is the equivalent of 10 crews per aircraft, when normally an airline would have four, possibly five crews per aircraft, especially with such a small route structure. Why so many pilots?

No wonder the airline cannot make a profit.

I wonder how many people actually know the following:

  • how many aircraft  Cyprus Airways has in its fleet?
  • how many pilots are employed by the Cyprus Airways?
  • how many pilots are usually in one crew?
  • how many crews on average an airline has per aircraft?
  • how does the number of crews per aircraft varies based on the route structure?

Visa free travel to UAE

Cyprus Mail reports:

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has instituted visa-free travel for the 13 remaining EU member states, including Cyprus.

The newly exempted countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The visa-free travel became effective on Saturday.

Not that I am planning a trip any time soon, but it’s good to know.

Micro SIM Catch 22

Last week I’ve got a new phone. Thanks to my good friend Michael I now have the Nexus 4. It’s an excellent device and I am enjoying it a lot, but this post is not about the phone (yet). This post is about how I nearly fell into a catch 22 situation.

My previous phone – Google Nexus – uses the regular SIM card. The new phone uses the Micro SIM. So I’ve visited the office of Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) where a really nice lady exchanged my old SIM for the new one – all free and in less than 15 minutes. The old SIM was deactivated immediately and I rushed home, excited for the new toy.

When Nexus 4 booted up it asked me for my Gmail credentials, in order to synchronize my settings, contacts, and apps. The tricky bit was that I have 2-step verification enabled on my account. That’s where after I enter my credentials on a new device I also need to confirm them with a numeric code, which is sent to me from Google via either an SMS or a voice call. It’s a handy security feature until you can’t really use your phone yet – it is being activated. So, no activation until I get an SMS and no SMS until I activate.

A short panic attack later I remembered that Google allowed for a backup phone number just for cases like this. I however never entered the backup number into the settings. The idiot that I am.

Will I be allowed to enter the backup number now, when I cannot receive the code? Gladly – YES! I was saved! But it taught me the important lesson (once again) that backups are priceless.

Cyprus to have its first Gay Pride parade

Cyprus Mail reports:

Cyprus first-ever Gay Pride parade will be held in Nicosia on May 31 and it will be part of the 15-day-long Cyprus Pride Festival, according to ACCEPT LGBTI Cyprus head Costas Gavrielides.

Just for the record, I am against the parade.  Not against gay people, but against the parade.  I am as much against the Straight Pride parade.  I don’t think that sexual preferences are a good choice for parading.

As far as the actual rights, laws, and morals go – I do agree with some and do disagree with the other, but, once again, I think there are other ways to work them out.

Corruption in Cyprus

Around 55 per cent of companies in Cyprus who took part in a public tender over the last three years claim that corruption prevented them from winning the contract, the highest percentage in the EU, according to the Commission’s anti-corruption report published on Monday.

Conflicts of interest in bid evaluation were reported in 76 per cent of cases, collusive bidding in 68 per cent, abuse of negotiated procedures in 62 per cent, unclear selection or evaluation criteria in 61 per cent, and amendment of contract terms after the contract is concluded stood at 55 per cent.

This is dog crap!

Cyprus Mail reports:

DOG owners who walk their pets but don’t clean up after it is an increasing problem within the Nicosia municipality, which has launched an awareness campaign on the issue.

The campaign is titled: ‘Behind each dog we are looking for a responsible citizen not an uncaring owner’.

As part of the effort, municipal workers are visiting parks handing out flyers and plastic bags to people walking their dog.

And this made me so happy I’m not a dog owner:

Not cleaning after a dog can lead to a fine of €1,700 and/or up to 12 months in jail.

On a serious note, they are right of course.  I don’t know how bad it is in Nicosia, but I’ve seen plenty of dog owners in Limassol that just walk away from the steaming pile of crap their dog just left in the middle of the street.