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Customers lose out after Cyprus Turkish Airlines ceases operations

Holidaymakers have lost out after the suspension of flights by national carrier Cyprus Turkish Airlines – despite assurances that Atlasjet would take over the bookings.


The national carrier suspended flights last week after financial difficulties, but a deal has been thrashed out under which rival airline Atlasjet will own 51% of the airline.


The new carrier, New Cyprus Turkish Airlines, will take over in May. In the meantime, Atlasjet has agreed to take over the 12,000 forward bookings without extra charge.


However, Abta has been contacted by six agents whose customers have not been offered suitable flights, some of whom did high volumes of business with the airline.


An Abta spokesman said: “Atlasjet is offering alternative flights but not necessarily to the same airports. In some cases the flights are to Ankara, which is a nine-hour coach transfer to some of the resorts.”


Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said the situation highlighted the need for action over financial protection. “It is clear that customers are exposed and that we need a comprehensive system of financial protection that includes tour operators and airlines.”


The airline flew from Stansted, Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Gatwick to Ercan in northern Cyprus.

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