Cyprus Airways, the national carrier of Cyprus, was founded on September 24, 1947, its shareholders being British European Airways (44,9%), the Cyprus Government (22,45%), and a number of individuals (32,65%). The new airline achieved lift-off with three 21-seater Douglas Dakota aircraft. Cyprus Airways operated from the airport that had been established in Nicosia. In those pioneering days the new national carrier provided services to Athens, London, Beirut, Cairo, Haifa, Istanbul, Alexandria and Rome.
Over the next three years the fleet doubled in size with the addition of another three Dakotas. The network in the meantime had encompassed another six destinations, Khartoum via Wadi Halfa, Kuwait, Bahrain, Baghdad, Lydda and Amman. By 1952, the Dakota were proving inadequate for the Nicosia – London service, so agreement was reached with BEA to operate the newly-delivered Airspeed Ambassador. The relative comfort and increased performance of the pressurised Ambassador allowed a streamlining of the route, rendering the stopover at Athens unnecessary. On April 18, 1953, Vickers Viscount 701 G-AMNY inaugurated the world’s first regular turboprop service, flying London to Nicosia, via Rome and Athens, the Athens-Nicosia sector being operated as a Cyprus Airways flight.