A new airline company, trying to establish itself to offer flights between Turkey and the TRNC, was given permission to add North Cyprus to its flight route, without having been granted an aviation certificate by Turkey.
Raising the issue is the People’s Party (HP), which has said that the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Kemal Dürüst, had announced that an agreement had been reached with Bird Airlines to permit flights to the TRNC, within the context of the intensive studies and consultations carried out with the Ministry.
However, Bird Airlines had received no civil aviation permit from Turkey’s Directorate of Civil Aviation. It was reported that permission had been granted to fly into the TRNC provided that Turkey granted the company a civil aviation licence.
General Secretary of the People’s Party, Tolga Atakan asked, “Based on what criteria were they allowed to have this company that never existed?”
In a written statement, Atakan said that Minister of Public Works and Transport, Dürüst had issued a press release on November 13, 2016, stating that the government had agreed to grant Bird Airlines permission to fly to the TRNC.
“At the negotiations with Bird Airlines management, they stated that they had reached a consensus on the flights to the three countries, besides Istanbul, Ankara, Trabzon, Gaziantep, Antalya, Hatay and Adana,” said Atakan. They have revealed that they do not have an air route and asked “which criteria are allowed for this non-existent company”.
Recognising that Bird Airlines had made no application to Turkey’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation, Atakan stated that they were very curious about why and how Dürüst had given permission to fly to North Cyprus to this company, without doing the slightest bit of research.
“It is a pity to see those who do not know what to do in such a situation in an extremely important technical ministry”, he said. “We expect the minister to explain to us what kind of thinking is behind this process, which disregards the prestige of our country”, said Atakan.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Yeni Duzen’ reports that the director of Bird Airlines, Tuncay Celik, told the paper that establishing an aviation company was a very serious and difficult task and that the project had come to a halt because they did not have Turkey’s and the TRNC’s support.
Celik said that they faced some problems with Turkey’s bureaucracy and that, thus far, they have not been able to secure a civil aviation permit.
Havadis, Yeni Duzen