Minister for Tourism and Economy, Serdar Denktaş has made the somewhat startling suggestion that the TRNC purchases 50% of Cyprus Airways to save it from going under and runs it jointly with South Cyprus, Turkish daily ‘Milliyet’ reports.
Cyprus Airways is 80 million euros in debt and will have to declare bankruptcy if it does not pay the debt by 9th January 2015.
Denktaş proposed that planes could fly from Ercan to Turkey and Larnaca could serve European destinations.
“This would be an important rapprochement between the two sides”, he said, noting that the political aspect of things would continue to be discussed as well. He said this was nothing to do with recognition and reminded that Turkish Cypriots had experienced the bankruptcy of their national carrier.
Addressing parliament, Minister for Transport, Hasan Tacoy pointed out that Cyprus was an island and this opportunity should be utilised. Tacoy said Turkish Airlines could also be made a partner as they had strong ties. CTP MP Birikim Özgür also supported the idea and noted many international airlines had been combined.
Cyprus Airways which was established in 1945, has been experiencing difficulties for the past two years since the economic crisis. Currently it employs 1,100 staff and owns six planes.