The north launched a new airline on Tuesday as Fly Kibris’ maiden flight saw an Airbus A320 travel from Tymbou (Ercan) to Istanbul, with flights scheduled later for Iran, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, and other destinations.

The north’s Bayrak broadcaster detailed that the first flight – named Champion Angels, commemorating the Turkish Cypriot youths who died in the Turkey earthquake – carried 84 passengers.

Those included senior officials from the north, such as the ‘deputy prime minister’, ‘the tourism minister’, and ‘transport minister’.

The airline is expected to have four scheduled links per week, two to and from Istanbul, a return to Ankara and a return to Izmir.

More connections to other Turkish cities are expected soon, it added.

It further stated that there will be charter flights to other destinations, which in the first phase will include Baku (from June 7), Tehran (from June 14) and Pristina and Amman (from October).

Turkish Cypriot officials stated on Tuesday that the new airline will create an important boost for the north’s tourism and creates a new bridge to Turkey.

Fly Kibris’ first flight launched as Turkish Cypriot officials met Turkish tourism officials where the two parties discussed deepening advertising campaigns and tourism strategies for ‘Northern Cyprus’.