Cyprus Turkish Airlines

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Cyprus Turkish Airlines
Kıbrıs Türk Hava Yolları
Cyprus Turkish Airlines logo.gif
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations1975
Ceased operations21 June 2010
HubsErcan International Airport
Fleet size7
HeadquartersNorth Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
Key peopleBilal EKŞİ (archived 23 July 2011)
A KTHY Boeing 737-800 at Antalya Airport, Turkey, wearing 2000–2009 livery. (2005)

Cyprus Turkish Airlines Limited (Turkish: Kıbrıs Türk Hava Yolları Ltd. Şti. (KTHY)) was a Turkish Cypriot airline that served as the flag carrier for Northern Cyprus.[citation needed] Until its collapse in June 2010, Cyprus Turkish Airlines was the primary airline flying passengers to Northern Cyprus.

KTHY operated scheduled flights from Ercan, Northern Cyprus, to several cities in Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Western and Northern Europe. Its main base was Ercan Airport, in the Turkish sector of Nicosia.[1]

The airline was de jure registered as a Turkish company in Istanbul.[citation needed] Day-to-day operations were run from Ercan. All flights to Europe were required to make a stop at an airport in mainland Turkey.


Cyprus Turkish Airlines was established on 4 December 1974 in Nicosia, with shares equally divided between Turkish Airlines and the Cash Development of the Consolidated Fund of the Assembly of the Turkish Cypriot Community (Konsolide Fonu Inkisaf Sandigi). The first scheduled flight took place on 3 February 1975.

In 2005, the Turkish government sold its shares to Ada Havayollari.[2]

By June 2010, KTHY had incurred a $100 million debt, and its management decided to sell the company to avoid bankruptcy. The Turkish carrier Atlasjet was the only bidder.[3]

On 21 June 2010, the airline announced via their website that they had ceased all operations until further notice. On 29 June 2010, it was announced that the airline had gone out of business.


A KTHY Boeing 737-800 takes off from London Heathrow Airport, England. (2007)
A KTHY Airbus A321 at Manchester Airport, England. (2006)
  • 1975—First scheduled flight takes place on 3 February
  • 1976—Airline begins leasing aircraft including DC-9s, Boeing 727-200s, and Boeing 720s
  • 1977—Company registered in Istanbul, Turkey[4]
  • 1981—Scheduled flights to London begin
  • 1990—Two 727-200s purchased
  • 1991—Ground operations staff and cockpit / cabin crew employed[clarification needed]
  • 2000—Airline begins leasing two Boeing 737-800s long-term
  • 2002—Upon completion of technical flight hours, all four 727-200s are grounded and sold
  • 2004—Airline begins leasing three Airbus A321-200s long-term
    • In-flight magazine Caretta re-introduced
  • 2006—ISO 9001-2000 Quality Control System certificate obtained in April
  • 2007—Cyprus Airport Services formed, following on from KTHY's partnership with HAVAŞ
  • 2008—Male cabin staff added
  • 2009—First scheduled flight to Scandinavia on 7 February, to Helsinki
  • 2010—Operations cease on 21 June
    • Bankruptcy declared on 19 September
  • 2014—Re-launch as Karpas Airlines planned for April[5]



"Iskele", a Cyprus Turkish Airlines Airbus A321, named after the Northern Cypriot city of İskele, taking off from Manchester Airport, England. (2009)

As of 13 March 2010, the Cyprus Turkish Airlines fleet consisted of the following aircraft:[6]

Aircraft Number Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-232 1 180 Operated by Turkuaz Airlines
Airbus A321-211 2 209 1 operated by AtlasJet
Boeing 737-800 4 177
Total 7

As of 14 March 2010, the average age of the fleet was 6.5 years.[7] According to the Cyprus Observer, KTHY had planned to extend their fleet to 12 aircraft, to be in service by 2012 with the airline's updated livery.[citation needed]

Most of the fleet parked at Ercan overnight, but some aircraft overnighted at Turkish airports.

Former fleet[edit]


Travel classes[edit]

Cyprus Turkish Airlines offered only two classes:

  • Economy: This class was offered on all of the new aircraft. Full meal or snack service was provided free of charge. In-flight entertainment was not offered.
  • Economy Plus: This class was introduced after KTHY's elimination of Business and First Class services years earlier, due the grounding of its Airbus A310s and Boeing 727s.

Express check-in[edit]

In early 2008, the airline introduced an express check-in service at Ercan for passengers who were not checking any bags. There were separate express check-in counters for passengers with only carry-on luggage and for those without any luggage at all.

Frequent flyer programme[edit]

The airline had a "Special Passenger Programme for Frequent Flyers". Participants had priority for seat reservations and an extra baggage allowance, avoided waiting at check-in, and earned points redeemable for travel.[9]


All Cyprus Turkish Airlines flight attendants were women until the start of the 2008 summer schedule in July, when the airline began using male flight attendants as well.

Strike action[edit]

On 7 April 2010, starting at 6 a.m., Cyprus Turkish Airlines staff staged a six-hour wildcat strike that grounded all planes. Travellers to and from Northern Cyprus were distressed and severely inconvenienced. Communication from the airline to travelers about the delays was poor.[citation needed]

In-flight magazine[edit]

A monthly, in-flight magazine was produced for KTHY, titled Caretta. It generally contained information about Northern Cyprus such as cultural background, tourist destinations, and upcoming events. The magazine was also available on the airline's website.


On 30 March 1998, Mehmet Ertürk hijacked a KTHY flight from Ercan to Ankara, using a lighter designed to resemble a hand grenade. The plane landed safely in Ankara, and Ertürk was arrested.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 101.
  2. ^ "Directory: World Airlines Part 2 (C-L)". Flight International: 31–80. 2009-04-07.
  3. ^ "Cyprus Turkish Airlines deal was done before bids even opened". Cyprus Mail. 2010-06-11. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ "Legal Status". KTHY. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
  5. ^ New Turkish-Cypriot carrier, Karpaz Hava Yollari, to launch in April
  6. ^ Cyprus Turkish Airlines Fleet
  7. ^ Cyprus Turkish Airlines Fleet Age
  8. ^ Cyprus Turkish Airlines current and historic Fleet
  9. ^ "Frequent Flyer Programme". KTHY. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009.

External links[edit]