Onur Air was established on 14 April 1992 and started revenue operations using a wet-leased Airbus A320 with a flight to Ercan in North Cyprus on 14 May of that year. Over the next years, the Onurair fleet grew, so that by the end of 1995, it included nine aircraft.
In 1996, Ten Tour acquired ownership of the airline. By 1997 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 twin-jet airliners had been added to the fleet. Due to a recession,[specify] Onur Air had to reduce the number of the planes in its fleet to 13 in 1998, and then to nine in 1999. But once again, the fleet grew rapidly thereafter reaching the present number of 31.
On 17 June 2003, Onur Air Flight 2263, an MD-88 (registration TC-ONP) overshot the runway at Groningen Airport Eelde following an aborted take-off. There were no injuries, but the airline was accused of security breaches.
On 12 May 2005, Onur Air was denied access to Dutch airspace for a month. Several incidents were the cause of the suspension of the airline. Negotiations took place between the Dutch authorities and Onur Air and on May 24, 2005 Onur Air had permission to fly from and to the Netherlands again.
On 15 September 2006, the pilot of an Onur Air charter flight from Antalya Airport to Bristol Airport scared his passengers prior to take-off when he refused to fly the aircraft, claiming it unsafe.
On 20 August 2011, an Onur Air pilot forgot to contact Munich Air Traffic Control and engaged the quick reaction air defence of both Germany and Austria to send four Eurofighter Typhoons to intercept the company's A321.