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Cypriot Airline Eyes Tehran

Cypriot Airline Eyes Tehran  Cypriot Airline Eyes Tehran

The start-up Cypriot airline Cobalt Air has announced new flights to Tehran when the carrier is launched in late-May.

Cobalt will be the Mediterranean island’s only airline with an ambition to plug the gap left by the closure of previous national carrier Cyprus Airways in January 2015, Aviation Iran reported, quoting a Financial Mirror interview with Cobalt’s chairman Gregory Diacou.

The airline aims to turn Cyprus into a major transit hub with flights to the UK, China, India, South Africa and USA operated by their Airbus A320 and A330s.

“We are delighted that the [Cypriot] government has been able to negotiate a liberalized air services agreement with Iran,” Diacou said.

The move will delight many businesses looking to tap the Iranian market following the lifting of economic sanctions on Tehran as a result of the implementation of the nuclear deal signed last year, reported the Cypriot English daily Famagusta Gazette, adding that Cobalt plans to launch daily flights from Larnaca to Tehran.

A European Union country, Cyprus may serve as a gateway to Europe for Iranian businesspeople.

Cobalt Air has ambitious plans to turn Cyprus into a major transit point using a modern fleet of Airbus 320 and 330 aircraft “and connect Cyprus to the world and the world to Cyprus,” Diacou said.

The airline, which will serve 16 cities when it begins its operations, has so far managed to hire 20 pilots and 16 cabin crew.

Currently, there are no regular flights between the two states. However, Qeshm Air and Mahan Air operate seasonal flights from Tehran to Larnaca during the two-week Iranian new year holiday (usually begins on March 21) and some periods in the summer season.