North Cyprus has a new airline. Fly Kıbrıs Airlines (Fly KHY) was launched this week at a ceremony held at Ercan Airport’s new terminal building. The new airline will make its first scheduled flight from Istanbul Airport to Ercan Airport on Thursday, April 16, with 174 passengers on board an Airbus A 320 aircraft.
At first, Fly Kıbrıs Airlines will offer two return flights to Istanbul and one daily return to Ankara and Izmir. But in a major development for communications in North Cyprus, KHY is also planning charter flights from Erbil, Tehran, Pristina, Amman and Baku from May 21.
It is 13 years since North Cyprus’s first and only national airline, Cyprus Turkish Airlines, went out of business. The new carrier is a private enterprise launched by three local businessmen, including Rauf Denktaş, son of the country founding president. The launch plane was named “Angels’ Team” after the young Turkish Cypriot volleyball players who lost their lives in the recent earthquake.
Mr Denktaş said: “After the disaster, we need to recover quickly and bandage our wounds. Every small step we take forward in both economic and social fields can turn into a giant march for our country and our homeland.
“We are people who love our country and invest in our country. This business is a private enterprise. However, the mission of this company goes far beyond private enterprise. Fly Cyprus Airlines will be the airline of this people, both with its competitive pricing policy and its contribution to the freedom of travel of our society, and with the contribution it will make to our economy with the tourists it will bring to our country.”
Another partner, Mehmet Dalman Yücel, said the launch had been badly delayed by the pandemic but he was now proud to have an airline with Ercan as its base and North Cyprus as its home.
The third founding entrepreneur, Nusret Polat said: “The FLYKHY project was born with the longing for a domestic plane and a local brand that our island has been waiting for a long time. We hope that it will be a valuable tool that will strengthen our island’s ties to our homeland and the peoples in the nearby geography, while adding a new excitement and a new responsibility to all our people, the entire tourism sector, and our very valuable stakeholders in our homeland.”