Cyprus Airways reborn into very different competitive landscape; pre-empted by Cobalt Air & Tus Air
Cyprus Airways ceased operations in Jan-2015, and since then much has changed in the market. Annual seat capacity in the market to/from Cyprus has increased by 25% (2016 versus 2014), the biggest competitor Aegean has almost doubled its capacity in Larnaca, the biggest Cypriot airport, and two new start up Cypriot airlines have been launched – the LCC Cobalt Air and regional airline Tus Airways. It would seem that the old 'flag carrier' has not been missed. Nevertheless, Cyprus Airways has now been reincarnated.
Charlie Airlines, a new airline part owned by Russia's S7 Airlines, acquired the rights to the Cyprus Airways name and logo in Jul-2016. After obtaining an AOC in Mar-2017, it launched operations at the start of Jun-2017 with a service from Larnaca to Saint Petersburg. It also offers Rhodes, Heraklion and Tel Aviv this summer.
Cyprus is a very competitive and very seasonal market, with a strong leisure focus. The new Cyprus Airways' simplified business model suggests that it should have a lower unit cost than that of its defunct predecessor, but finding a defendable niche will be crucial.
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