Government Challenged Over Direct Cyprus Flights Ban

Government Challenged Over Direct Cyprus Flights Ban

A new claim is being brought before the UK courts to overturn a 35-year ban which has prevented direct flights to Cyprus from UK airports.

The challenge has been launched by Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA) which is responsible for approximately 5 per cent of the tourist market from the UK to Cyprus. The airline flies 100,000 passengers annually for their Cyprus holidays but is irritated that travellers still cannot book direct passage to the North of the island.

At the moment, passengers going to Northern Cyprus must first be diverted to Turkey before they can arrive at their ultimate holiday destination. The ban, which is being enforced under he 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation is not only a “considerable inconvenience” but are also “unlawful and unjust” according to CTA.

The push from CTA is likely to curry favour with environmentalists and Cyprus holiday makers alike. Given the recent push from environmental groups to reduce carbon emissions and make flights more fuel efficient, an imposed ban which unnecessarily diverts flights is a superfluous polluter. The UK government is also caught between a rock and a hard place, with Chancellor Alistair Darling stoically refusing to reduce APD taxes for “green reason,” the government is in danger of appearing hypocritical.

The CTA argument is a compelling one, they contend that by enforcing the diversion of flights, the ban increases flight times, airfares and fuel emissions with “absolutely no operational justification,” reports the Daily Mail.

The court hearing is expected to last three days and once concluded, could begin a new era in easy and cheap flights to Cyprus.

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