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?

What are they thinking?

Cyprus Mail reports that Cyprus Airways expands its operations in Greece:

“After the positive response from the Athens-Thessalonica-Athens route, the airline decided to start new regular flights to the country’s most important airports,” CY announced yesterday.

Starting on October 28, there will be twice-daily flights between Athens and Heraklion, one from Athens to Rhodes and back; one a day between Heraklion and Thessalonica and another between Rhodes and Thessalonica three times a week.

My first reaction after reading this is – what are they thinking?  Cyprus Airways has been in a lot of financial troubles lately, getting lots of help from the Cyprus government, including the kick out of the competition – Ryanair (here and here).  But at least Ryanair was working with Cyprus, bringing lots of people in and out.  What does Cyprus Airways do?  Yeah, right, instead of trying to help the Cyprus tourism a bit, they go to Greece.  Which, given Greece’s troubles, is questionable as well.  What’s the point of having Cyprus Airways in Cyprus at all then?  And why does the government spend the money on them.  Let them go to the other side of the world, if they want to, and help Australia’s tourism, or something…