TUS Airways (U8, Larnaca) has taken delivery of its first A320-200 as it looks to restart operations albeit under a new business model and with a revised fleet.

5B-DDK (msn 2291) is a 16.5-year-old ex-Air Malta aircraft owned by Peregrine Aviation and managed by AerCap, according to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module. It was retired by its previous operator in early September 2020 and following a period of storage at Malta Int'l airport, ferried to Larnaca on February 5, 2021, still as 9H-AEK at that time, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. It has since been seen sporting its full Tus Airways livery and new Cypriot registration.

Tus Airways suspended all scheduled operations at the end of October 2019 to focus on charter flying during the Winter 2019/20 season. While it intended to restart scheduled operations in March 2020, these plans were jeopardised by the COVID-19 pandemic. During summer 2020, the airline tried to secure funding for a restart, including from undisclosed private investors and the Cypriot government. At that time, it pledged to phase out all of its remaining Fokker 70s and Fokker 100s and focus on DHC-8-Q400s going forward. The airline then targeted a February 2021 restart amid plans to operate as a low-cost carrier under the new ELA Cyprus brand.

Tus Airways did not respond to ch-aviation queries regarding its new business model and fleet plans. Its website has not been updated and still reflects its pre-pandemic business plan based on the Fokker Aircraft fleet.

The Cypriot Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has since confirmed to ch-aviation TUS Airways is indeed in the process of re-securing its AOC albeit under its existing brand name.

Editorial Comment: Updates with confirmation from the Cypriot DCA. - 09.03.2021 - 19:57 UTC