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Tuesday, April 4, 2000
Olympic Airways pilots willing to pay to fly Greeks to games

 ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Olympic Airways pilots are willing to forgo overtime pay and donate union funds to win the bid for the state-owned carrier to carry Greece's Olympic team to Sydney for the summer games.
 
 "We think Olympic Airways should take this job due to a matter of national pride. We are willing to offer any amount," said Gregoris Kostandelos, general secretary of the Hellenic Airplane Pilots Association.
 
 Singapore Airlines appeared to be the front-runner in the bidding. The Greek Olympic Committee may make the final decision April 11.
 
 Both carriers had similar prices in their bids, but Olympic was going to charge more than twice the fee for overweight items. Kostandelos said the union was willing to cover the $4,300 to $5,700.
 
 Pilots are also offering to go without overtime pay and make extra crews available for return flights from Sydney, said Kostandelos.
 
 Olympic has flown Greek teams to every Olympiad since 1959 except for the Atlanta games in 1996 when the Greeks arrived on Delta Air Lines and returned on Olympic.
 
 Olympic also will transport the Bulgarian, Romanian and Finnish teams to Sydney.
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