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Petition Authorise direct flights to North Cyprus

Allow for direct flights to Northern Cyprus from the UK. Ercan Airport (LCEN) currently serves as the primary hub for north Cyprus. Whilst the south benefits from direct flights the north can only offer flights with 1 to 2 stops.

More details

For over 40 years people travelling to North Cyprus have had to put up with disembarking in Turkey and changing planes. North Cyprus has been independent since 1983 and it hasn’t changed. Not flying direct affects people in the UK wishing to travel there. Pressure from countries involved shouldn’t be reasons why we cannot have direct flights to the TRNC. Regarding the Cyprus issue the North has done everything possible to come to a solution however they haven’t been rewarded. Now is the time.

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Government responded

This response was given on 27 May 2021

The UK Government has no plans to authorise direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus. Direct flights would breach obligations under international law.

Read the response in full

The UK Government has no plans to authorise direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus. In accordance with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ as an independent state. The United Kingdom recognises the Republic of Cyprus as the sovereign authority for the island of Cyprus. As a result, the UK Government cannot negotiate an Air Services Agreement with the administration in the north of Cyprus.

The Republic of Cyprus has not designated any airport in the northern part of Cyprus with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); as such, no airports in that part of Cyprus are listed by ICAO as open for international traffic.

The UK High Court also ruled in 2009 (Kibris Türk Hava Yollari v Secretary of State for Transport) that allowing direct flights to Ercan airport in the north of Cyprus would breach our international legal obligations. This is because it would fail to respect the Republic of Cyprus’ rights under the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, including to choose which airports to designate as customs airports. This ruling was endorsed by the Court of Appeal in 2010.

In light of the above, it would be unlawful for the Government to authorise direct flights to the northern part of Cyprus.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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