Delivering a speech at a ceremony at Ercan to mark the beginning of flights, Minister of Tourism and Environment Unal Üstel, said that initiatives, taken some time ago, had finally started to bear fruit. He also said that they are continuing to work to bring ticket prices down in order to lighten the burden on travellers.
He also expressed the belief that with the increase of flight numbers by Turkish Airlines and Anadolu Jet, this will help to lower the cost of flights.
Stating that the unjust embargoes imposed on the TRNC had negatively affected competition between airline companies and therefore the cost of flights had always been high, Üstel noted that airport taxes also affected ticket prices.
“Airport taxes are high and we pay tax at Turkey’s airports as well so we will sit down and discuss all of this and see if we can minimise costs” said Üstel. He also announced that they hoped to begin direct flights with Anadolu Jet to the Black Sea (Karadeniz) and will start discussions to realise this as of next year.
Noting that T&T the airport management and construction company, should also contribute to lower ticket prices, Üstel argued that the “government had fulfilled its part for the completion of the airport”, which will hopefully finish in 2020. He further added that upon the completion of the airport, they will ask the European Court of Human Rights why an embargo is imposed to the Turkish Cypriots, adding that the new airport will be the pride of the TRNC and will be a “knock on” the doors of the European countries.
Meanwhile, General Manager of Civil Aviation Mustafa Sofi, said that the number of flights increased from 2,300.000 to 4,000.000 over a period of seven years, adding that they will be ready for international flights together with the new airport.