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25 June 2024

Cyprus Airways preparing to fly again


Reborn carrier Cyprus Airways is preparing to take to the skies again after having obtained a certificate from the civil aviation department, two years after it closed, the company said Tuesday.

"The Air Operator Certificate is a huge step forward for us, as it acknowledges that all our processes meet the requirements of European aviation authorities," said Natalia Popova, Cyprus Airways chief commercial officer.

On March 4, the airline conducted a test flight from Larnaca to Heraklion in Greece with an Airbus A319, as part of the procedure to obtain the certificate.

"Our next step," said Popova, "is to get the licence for commercial flights, for which we have already submitted our application. At the same time, we are at the final stage of preparations for the commencement of our flights."

The airline is reluctant to give a timeline for the launch of commercial flights but said it was finalising a schedule and would "soon" post a website for tickets and routes.

The new Larnaca-based Cyprus Airways is expected to operate flights to Russia, Britain and other European destinations.

In July 2016, Charlie Airlines, which is 40 percent by the Russian S7 group and the rest by local investors, paid 2.04 million euros for the right to use the trademark and logo of Cyprus Airways for a decade.

A first Charlie Airlines plane landed on the island in December with the new livery.

The original state-owned Cyprus Airways shut down in January 2015 after the European Commission ruled it had received tens of millions of euros in illegal government support which had to be repaid.

The national carrier could not afford to return the money and operations were shut down.