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A NEW national carrier for North Cyprus could be on the agent a as part of plans to boost tourism in the country and push down ticket prices. A leading politician campaigning for this development has already registered the name Cyprus Turkish Airlines International abroad. Tourism bosses say proper planning is needed to ensure the same mistakes are not made as with Cyprus Turkish Airlines which was grounded in June 2010 by the Turkish Civil Aviation authority because of high dept. The airline later went into insolvency. Speaking to Cyprus Today Democrat Party-National Forces chairmen Serdar Denktas currently a high-ranking member of the coalition revealed: We have already registered  the name Cyprus Turkish Airlines International abroad. We are very sensitive on this issue and we have put this as a priority into our manifesto.

We are talking with investors and have spoken with aviation officials who have advised that we can start the airline with just three aircraft. There is a need to take out the necessary permissions and slots. We want to involve all sectors to ensure the government does not use the airline as its own plaything _which was the reason for the collapse of CTA. Buran Atakan chairmen of the union representing aviation workers welcomed to move saying Mr Denktas has always shown great passion for North Cyprus to have its own national carrier.

We welcome this initiative and will be meeting with him and the head of the Republician Turkish Party who has also told us of their interest in taking this initiative if they come to government. We have warned politicians to ensure that any new national carrier is not ruled or controlled by governments otherwise we will see a demise of the airline within a few years. At present we miss very welcome indeed having CTA. Its absence has resulted in a monopoly being given to the private sector with ticket prices to London costing up to 1.500 TL return. You cannot attract tourists with such ticket prices. The type of partnership between the state and private sectors has to be worked on when deciding how to structure the new airline. But the first steps by Mr Denktas are welcome indeed. CTP chairman Ozkan Yorgancioglu said “we pledge that if we come to government after the election we will start investigations as to how we can form a new national airline. “This is something we all want in our hearts. “But we cannot state for sure what will happen until feasibility research is carried out. But we are certainly willing to take the initiative.” Work to form a part-private, part-public North Cyprus Airlines with the backing of Turkish Airlines in 2011 fell apart after a dispute between the previous government and private sector shareholders.

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