Cyprus Airways is the national airline of Cyprus, a public limited company with its head offices located in the capital of the island, Nicosia. It flies from both airports of the island, Larnaca and Paphos, with the former serving as a hub. Cyprus Airways is owned by the government of Cyprus and private shareholders.
Cyprus Airways was established on 24 September 1947 as a joint venture between the colonial government of Cyprus, BEA (British European Airways), and private interests. It started operating one year later. In 1956, because of the uncertain political situation in Cyprus, the company decided to sell some of its aircrafts and entered into a five-year agreement with BEA for the latter to operate services on behalf of Cyprus Airways. BEA took over the operation of all Cyprus Airways services effective 26 January 1958 by special arrangement.
The government of newly independent Cyprus became the majority shareholder in 1960 with a 53.2 percent holding, while BEA"s stake was reduced to 22.7 percent and private individuals held the rest. Thereafter, Cypriot nationals began to be hired and trained for the flight crews, which had previously been made up of British expatriates from BEA.
In 1974, at the start of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the attack on Nicosia airport caught all five of Cyprus Airways aircraft on the ground. All of the Cypriot airline"s operations had to be suspended following the end of the hostilities in 1974 because the Nicosia International Airport, the only airport of the island, had to be closed. Cyprus Airways restarted limited operations from there on 8 February 1975. The airline to survive decided to reduce the salaries of all its employees to minimum who proudly accepted it. The airline ordered still more different aircraft types in the late 1970s which replaced some earlier aircraft coming off lease.
1980s was the time for expansion, with a change in ownership structure British Airways selling all but 5 percent of the shares it had inherited from BEA to the Cypriot government. Private investors owned the remainder and a transition to Airbus aircraft.
British Airways divested the last of its shares in 1991, leaving the government with an 80.46 percent stake and private investors, the remainder. The airline was flying high, introducing a livery and uniforms as the Airbuses plied new routes. Cyprus added many new cooperation agreements with other airlines as it developed its international reach by linking Europe and the Middle East. Since 2000s, the airline has continuously developed.
Cyprus Airways serves 41 destinations in 15 countries in two continents, including: Netherlands, Iraq, Lebanon, UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, Italy, Russia, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Israel, Austria, Greece and Switzerland. As a part of the code-share agreement between Cyprus Airways and Olympic Air, Cyprus Airways shares the routes to some of the Greek island with Olympic Air.
The airlines current fleet includes these following aircrafts: 4 Airbus A319-100 and 7 Airbus A320-200
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