Helios Airways was a low-cost Cypriot airline operating scheduled and charter flights between Cyprus and many European destinations. It has its corporate headquarters on the grounds of Larnaca International Airport in Larnaca.[1][2] Its main base was Larnaca International Airport. Flights ceased on 6 November 2006 because the company's aircraft were detained and its bank accounts frozen by the Government of Cyprus. [3]


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 (Cyprus), a Cypriot offshore air operator specialising in Boeing 737 wet leases worldwide. Originally, it offered charter services and added scheduled services on 5 April 2001. Helios was acquired in 2004 by Libra Holidays Group of Limassol, Cyprus.

On 14 August 2005, Helios Airways Flight 522 crashed near Grammatiko, Greece, as the crew was incapacitated due to lack of oxygen. The investigation concluded that both maintenance crews and the pilots had failed to ensure the pressurization system was set to "auto", and as a result, the plane never pressurized. The accident revealed many problems with safety of the airline and lead to manslaughter charges against five airline officials.

On 14 March 2006 it was announced that Helios Airways would be rebranded as αjet and would withdraw from scheduled operations. [4] Responding to rumors, on 30 October 2006 αjet announced that it was to cease operations over the period of the following 90 days. In light of this, the Cyprus Government demanded that back taxes be paid immediately. Also, private suppliers demanded that they be paid in cash for any further goods and services provided to the company. On 31 October 2006 the airline announced that it was ceasing operations immediately. On 11 November 2006 the Company website announced that The Government of the Republic of Cyprus had "illegally detained αjet’s aircraft and frozen the Company’s bank accounts", which was in "direct contravention to the successful appeal lodged by αjet in the District Court, causing substantial financial damage to the Company". As a result αjet announced that all flights that were scheduled to be operated by other Carriers to all destinations, would no longer be operating as of Monday, 6 November 2006 and that passengers would therefore have to make their own arrangements.

All αjet flights were suspended from 1 November 2006 and the majority of its schedules were taken over by the now defunct XL Airways UK charter carrier. According to owners, Libra Holidays, the decision to close was due to poor financial results and pressure from creditors. [5]


Helios / αjet has ceased operations. It used to fly to 14 destinations in Europe.


File:Helios 737 olympia.jpg

When the airline ceased operating, the αjet fleet consisted of the following aircraft [6]:

Aircraft operatedEdit

The airline had also operated the following aircraft[7]:

Incidents and accidentsEdit

  • On 14 August 2005, Helios Airways Flight 522, a Boeing 737-300, flying from Larnaca to Athens, crashed near Kalamos, Greece. The aircraft had 115 passengers on board and a total of 6 crew (2 Pilots, 4 Cabin Crew). The crash was caused by a pressurization problem.


  1. "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 23-29 March 2004. 83.
  2. "Contact Us." Helios Airways. 4 February 2005. Retrieved on 6 November 2009. "22 Nietzsche Street, Ria Court 9, 1st Floor P.O. Box 43028, CY-6028 Larnaca Airport, Cyprus"
  3. Cyprus Weekly, text copied to
  4. BBC NEWS | Business | Cypriot airline to stop flights
  5. Airliner World January 2007
  6. Fleet List
  7. Fleet List

External linksEdit

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