A subsidiary of Russian airline S7 has acquired the rights to use the logo of defunct carrier Cyprus Airways for 10 years at a cost of 2.04 million euros, under a deal signed on Friday.
The $2.25 million agreement signed in Nicosia allows new subsidiary Charlie Airlines to display the logo – a mouflon mountain sheep which Cyprus says is native to the island – on its aircraft on flights to and from the eastern Mediterranean holiday destination.
National carrier Cyprus Airways was shut down in January 2015 after breaking EU state aid rules and unable to repay the millions in cash it had received.
Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said signing the deal with S7 would create jobs and bolster flight connectivity to Cyprus, which returned to growth in 2015 after nearly four years of recession and a 10-billion-euro international bailout.
The island recorded its best ever tourist arrivals figure for the month of May, with visitors from Russia, its second largest market after Britain, jumping more than 50 percent to 107,000, compared to the same month of last year.
Charlie Airlines, which has applied for an air operator certificate, expects to launch flights with two Airbus A319 planes from Cyprus by the end of 2016 with the UK, Greece and Russia its main destinations.
The airline has signed a 10-year licensing deal – the logo remains the property of the Cypriot state – with an option to renew it for another five years.
S7 Airlines is Russia’s largest domestic carrier and transported 10.6 million passengers last year.