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New Cyprus Airline Eyes Takeoff

NICOSIA – A new Cypriot airline – TUS Airways – hopes to launch on Dec. 1 if it gets the needed approvals from the government.

The airline is aiming at taking a niche of short-hop routes that larger carriers don’t want. It has been in the works for eight months under a name that means The Ultimate Schedule.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mail of Cyprus, Michael Amprikidis, Head of Operations Support and Deputy Manager of TUS said, “This is an entirely different operation.”

“We have hired the best crew, pilots and ground personnel – they all have a lot of years of experience. This is a brand new concept of a turbo-prop airline operating in Cyprus.”

Their strategy is to pull in business and leisure travellers looking for frequent departures to regional destinations including Beirut, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rhodes, Kos, Eilat, Samos and Karpathos.

The airline plans to serve 12 destinations in winter and 16 during the summer months.

Most of their flights will operate around peak rush hours between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. to keep connection times tight for business travelers.

For the past few weeks their slim, white-painted passenger plane, smaller than the familiar commercial airliners, has been roaring off the runway at Larnaca on a series of trial runs and demo flights.

 

“We are counting on this high frequency; the time from check-in to boarding will be a very short period of time. And of course, all of our destinations are regional, so one to one and a half hours flying time away. It is this factor that enables us to perform a high-frequency schedule and to serve some destinations two to four times a day,” he says.

 

In early October TUS was granted an air operator certificate from the department of civil aviation, with its commercial air transport licence still pending.

In an interview last week, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades sounded enthusiastic about the project.

“As the government, we are working hard with all agencies like the Cyprus Tourism Organisation to bring as many planes as we can to Cyprus so we obviously approve such a move. The new airline also gives more options to people in Cyprus wanting to fly out,” Demetriades said.

 

 

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