Israel’s Global Knafaim said on Thursday it bought a 49.9 per cent stake in the small Cypriot airline Tus Airways with a $5 million investment.

Global Knafaim is a unit of Knafaim Holdings, which lost a controlling stake in Israel’s flag carrier El Al last year when the airline applied for a government bailout.

Tus Airways has two Airbus A320 aircraft and will begin flying in Europe this summer and is considering buying Airbus A330 planes suitable for longer flights, Global Knafaim said.

It said that a previous investor, US businessman Kenneth Woolley, who owns the small, rebranded Eastern Airlines, will inject $4 million and control a 50.1 per cent stake.

Knafaim Holdings Ltd (“Knafaim”) is a holding company which incorporated in Israel in May 1980 as a private company, and later registered its shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in November 1993.

Knafaim effectively controls several aviation related companies – among which is El Al Israel Airlines Ltd.. In addition, Knafaim has another significant asset – Global Knafaim Leasing Ltd, whose business is leasing aircraft to airlines around the world.

GKL has extensive, rich experience in the industry, and is a reputable company with excellent relationships with airlines, leasing companies and financiers in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa.

GKL is a public company listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, following a completion of its IPO in July 2017. To this day, GKL has paid over USD$50,000,000 in dividends to its shareholders.

Knafaim is the ultimate beneficiary of Maintenance Wings Limited Partnership, which provides military aircraft maintenance services to the Israeli Air Force.

Knafaim holds 50 per cent of QAS Ltd, which provides ground handling service to airlines and private aircrafts operating in Ben Gurion international airport. Such services include, inter alia, passenger screening, baggage monitoring, airport ground control, and coordinating between various suppliers and authorities.

QAS is also a partner (50 per cent), with Dan Hotels Ltd., in a partnership operating five passenger and VIP lounges at Ben Gurion International Airport.