Introduction by Margaret Sheard…..
We have visited the now abandoned Nicosia International Airport on a couple of occasions when making an annual visit to Wayne’s Keep with British ex-servicemen.
I have written about the Trident aircraft 5B-DAB which still sits at the airport albeit in a very forlorn and sad condition. To see this article click here In the article below there is a photograph of 5B-DAB when it was in commercial use and looking so smart.
As a result of this article we were contacted by Captain Emre Unel, an airline pilot and very much an aircraft enthusiast, and he has kindly sent us some of his memories of a once busy and thriving airport and some of the aircraft which visited there pre-1974, together with other interesting information about the old airport and other aircraft of days gone by.
Cyprus Aviation History
By Emre Unel…..
As a teenager I practically grew up at Nicosia Airport which, with all its magic, was fundamental in shaping my career as an airline pilot.
This is a photo of Trident 5B-DAB which I took from the viewing terrace at Nicosia Airport in March 1973.
I have many fond memories of the elegant terminal where we spent so much time.
Over the years I have collected and written down lot of information and memories about NIC.
I have also been able to assist a media company in producing a documentary about Nicosia Airport. This film has been quite successful and was even shown in the European Parliament.
Amongst others I have also had the privilege to meet and become good friends with the Captain of the last commercial flight to land at Nicosia Airport on the morning of July 20th 1974.
My first article was published in 2007 and this can be seen by clicking here
On the morning of July 20th 1974 at the start of the Turkish intervention four Cyprus Airways Hawker Siddeley Tridents were parked at Nicosia Airport.
Their registrations were: 5B-DAB : 5B-DAC : 5B-DAD : 5B-DAE
Trident 5B-DAE was destroyed during an attack by the Turkish Air Force. 5B-DAC and 5B-DAD were damaged.
All aircraft were stranded at Nicosia Airport which had been closed.
British Airways had decided that it was feasible to repair two of the Tridents and to return them to service with BA to England.
Tridents “Alpha Charlie” and “Alpha Delta” were repaired and maintained by a special engineering team using spare parts from the remaining Trident “Alpha Bravo”. However it was not until 1978 that BA was allowed to fly the aircraft out of Nicosia. The last take offs from the airport ever since.
What was left of 5B-DAB was parked at the maintenance area where it still is today.
AC and AD joined the BA fleet, were re registered (UK) and flew on for many years.
Visiting the old Avro Shackleton Bomber at Nicosia Airport July 2015
This old Royal Air Force “Avro Shackleton” bomber has been lying in a field at Nicosia International Airport for more than 50 years.
The “Shackleton” was a slightly modernized version of the famous WW2 British “Lancaster” bomber and used for maritime patrol duties during the cold war.
After being decommissioned in the 1950s the bomber was towed to an area near Runway 09 where it remains until today.
During a recent visit to Nicosia Airport I had the chance to take a few photographs.
1945 “MISR AIRLINES” FLYING TO AND FROM LARNACA
Tuesdays: Cairo-Lydda, Palestine (today Tel Aviv, Israel) Beirut-Larnaca- Beirut
My grandfather used to be a H.M. Customs Inspector at Larnaca Aerodrome at that time.
ON 9TH JANUARY 2015 CYPRUS AIRWAYS SHUT DOWN…..
The day after….. by Emre Unel…..
Cyprus Airways had to shut down yesterday after 68 Years of operations due to financial problems. A sad loss of a traditional airline.
I drove down to Larnaca today (10th January 2015) to have a look at the situation there and shot a few photos.
As always when these things happen, the atmosphere at Larnaca Airport was very subdued.
I took some photographs showing the CY check in area in the terminal and also from the perimeter road towards Mc Kenzie Beach and the fence in the cargo area. Also photos showing the Cyprus Airways Airbus Fleet parked on the old ramp at Larnaca Airport on the afternoon of January 10th 2015
This was most certainly a sad time for Emre who, as an airline pilot, must have felt huge pangs of regret for the end of yet another era in Cyprus Aviation history.
There are many people who have a love of “planes”, and I am among them, and we hope that this bit of nostalgia will appeal to those who love the roar of the engine and the sight of an aircraft streaking across the sky.
I think my love of aircraft stems from when I was young and my elder brother would take me to air shows, he was also an aircraft enthusiast and took many photographs which sadly I no longer have. The love of my life was the Vulcan Bomber which always took my breath away and again is at the end of an era having made its last ever flight recently in the UK.