A new airline has been granted a licence to operate in the north and will begin scheduled flights next April, ‘transport minister’ Erhan Arikli was quoted as saying on Sunday.

According to CNA, citing Turkish Cypriot media, Arikli added that certain tax regulations that will be made and the current competitive environment would reduce ticket prices.

Studies have begun, he said, to include Tymbu (Ercan) in as a Turkish ‘domestic destination’, which would remove airport taxes from the equation for airlines.

On the order of the ‘prime minister, he said, last week, he traveled with the “tourism minister’, Fikri Ataoglou, to Istanbul and they had some contacts regarding the reduction of ticket prices, initially with the leadership of Turkish Airlines.

They also talked, he said, about the measures that can be taken so that Istanbul flights to the north are not more expensive than Athens-Larnaca prices. They are waiting, he said, for Turkish Airlines’ response to what they discussed.

Arikli did not give any details about the new airline, the ownership status, exactly when it will start flights and to which destinations.

International direct flights to the north are outlawed. Airlines must first touch down in Turkey before continuing on to the north.