Russian S7 Airlines to launch Charlie Airlines in Cyprus
A new airline is planning to give Cobalt Air and Tus Airways some fresh competition in Cyprus with its Russian co-owner unveiling the name as ‘Charlie Airlines’.
According to S7 air group chief Vladislav Filev, the name was inspired by the nickname handed to expatriated Cypriots that had left the island.
“This is a new company. In England they called Cypriots “Charlie” and the company will be named Charlie Airlines,” Filev said in a recent interview.
Earlier this week, Cobalt Air chairman Gregory Diakou said flights would begin in June adding that it was his hope that the airline would succeed defunct Cyprus Airways as the island’s new national carrier.
Another airline, Tus Airways, was expected to begin short distance flights but had its aviation license frozen at the last minute following an internal dispute at the company which led to several managers walking out.
Orion is another company in the process of establishing itself as an airline in Cyprus.
According to Filev, the airline will make flights from Cyprus to a number of European destinations adding that operations could begin as early as this year.
The airline will start off with two A319 aircraft from Filev’s S7 fleet.
He went on to say that Russian shareholders “will own about 40% in the new company” and that “60% will be held by foreign investors” but stopped short of saying who they were.
He also declined to say if he will own a stake in the new airline himself or via a company that he owns.
“Russian shareholders are not able to create a European company without foreign investors due to the tough requirements of the European regulator (EASA).
He added that the new company will make it possible for S7 to operate in Europe within the zone of EASA, which will give Russian shareholders a new experience in managing security of flights.
“This is rather a school than a business,” he added.
“We had planned to begin flights in the spring, but underestimated the complexity of the organisation, namely the severity of the approach of European aviation authorities. We thought that we knew all and would do everything quickly but it turned out different.”