After losing control of El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL), Knafaim Holdings Ltd. (TASE: KNFM) has bought a 49.9% stake in Cypriot airline TUS Airways. Under the terms of the deal, Knafaim, controlled by Tami Mozes-Borovitz, will inject $5 million into the airline, through its Global Knafaim Leasing unit, while US businessman Kenneth Woolley will inject $4 million for a 50.1% stake. Woolley is the controlling shareholder in US carrier Eastern Airlines.

TUS is a small Cypriot airline which has been operating flights to Europe, North Africa and Tel Aviv snice 2016. The airline halted operations at the start of the Covid crisis and had denied reports at the end of 2019 that the company was close to collapse. Since then Michael Weinstein, an aviation industry veteran who founded and initially headed the company, has returned as CEO.

Based in Larnaca, the airline has decided to resume operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and is currently in the process of obtaining two A320-200 airbuses and having initially based operations on smaller aircraft is now mulling leasing wide-bodied planes and also launching longer-haul flights to Asia and North America. TUS also plans operating hybrid full service and low-cost flights.

TUS is also considering leasing two A 330 airbus planes from Global Knafaim Leasing and has also granted the Israeli company rights for air and ground services.

Global Knafaim CEO Sidney Slaskey said, “We believe in the partnership with Woolley, a man rich in knowhow and experience in the aviation industry in order to renew operations of TUS as a young, efficient, dynamic and innovative company with a license to operate flights in Europe, which will allow it to develop within Europe as well as to other more distant destinations. The proven experience of both parties and the unique conditions in the aviation industry will allow the partners to realize the potential contained in TUS.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on May 27, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *