* Code-share deal with CAIR *
Qatar Airways will launch four weekly flights from Doha to Larnaca as of April 29, following the conclusion of an aviation transport agreement signed between the governments of Qatar and Cyprus on Sunday.
The bilateral agreement was signed by Communications Minister Tassos Mitospoulos who headed a delegation that included Presidential Undersecretary Constantinos Petrides, the Director General of the Communications and Works Ministry Alecos Michaelides, the Cypriot ambassador in Qatar Charalambos Panayides, Civil Aviation Director Iakovos Demetriou and senior counsel of the Ministry of Finance, Irena Georgiadou.
The aviation cooperation agreement was signed by the president of the Qatari civil aviation authority, Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al-Noaimi.
The agreement allows for the use of ‘fifth rights’ as regards carrying passengers from Cyprus onwards to any two other EU destinations (except Greece) by third country carriers, such as Qatar Airways, similar to flights operated by Emirates from Dubai to Larnaca and then onwards to Malta.
Qatar Airways had already been advertising for all positions to man the ground crew of the airline at Larnaca airport, from check-in counters all the way up to managers.
During the meetings in Doha, it was agreed that Qatar Airways and Cyprus Airways would conclude a code share agreement within 30 days, which is regarded as the first step in further commercial cooperation at a critical time for the island’s troubled national carrier.
An offer for Qatar Airways to buy one of the two CAIR slot at Heathrow airport for EUR 15 mln fell through after details of the deal were unveiled by Cypriot officials and the Gulf carrier turned to other potential sellers at Europe’s busiest airport. Such a deal would have helped lower Cyprus Airway’s mounting debts and growing costs, which have forced it to cut back on its fleet, staff size and overseas offices.
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