Sunday, March 8, 2009

How to Lose an Airline in 8 Years (and turn it into two other failing airlines)

When I mentioned Helios Airlines to any of my friends they had no idea what I was talking about so this blog is about the forgoten airline of Cyprus.

The airline was established as "Helios Airways" on 23 September 1998 and was the first independent privately owned airline in Cyprus. On 15 May 2000, it operated its first charter flight to London Gatwick. It was formed by the owners of TEA, a Cypriot offshore air operator specialising in Boeing 737 wet leases worldwide. Helios was acquired in 2004 by Libra Holidays Group of Limassol, Cyprus.

On August 14 2005, Flight 522, a Boeing 737-300, crashed en route from Larnaca to Athens, killing all 121 aboard. The regulating valve was left open on manual which caused loss of cabin pressure this is suspected to be the cause.

After the crash Helios, only having one plane left, ceased operations on October 31 and was turned into Ajet.

On November 1, one day after it was created, Ajet was bought By XL Airways.

After 12 years of operation XL airways ceased operations over night thus ending the Helios life-line.

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