Saturday, August 8, 2009

UK-Cyprus flights fails

Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA) and its UK tour operator, CTA Holidays Limited, failed to secure a judicial review at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre.

AN AIRLINE and tour operator has lost a legal bid to overturn a 35-year-old ban on flights from the UK to northern Cyprus.

The government argues lifting the ban would contravene the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.

Currently, flights to northern Cyprus must land in Turkey first. CTA, which flies about 100,000 visitors from the UK to Northern Cyprus each year, says this increases flight times, fares and fuel emissions.

But Mr Justice Wyn Williams dismissed the airline's call for a review. CTA's lawyers argued the government's continuing refusal to lift the ban was "unlawful and unjust".

Permitting direct flights between UK airports and northern Cyprus would have "huge, symbolic importance" for a divided island with a painful modern history, they said.

CTA argued the ban had "absolutely no operational justification".

The CTA flights are popular with many Britons coming to live or stay in western Turkey, including Izmir, Kusadasi and Altinkum, on a short or long term basis as the flights land at Izmir Airport before flying on to northern Cyprus.