Cobalt Air is claiming “major recognition” after just two years in business by attracting an interline deal with UAE carrier Etihad Airways.

The deal will help Cyprus’ largest airline to widen its passenger reach and encourage more tourism from the Middle East and beyond to the island.

The agreement opens Cyprus to more than 100 routes from Abu Dhabi to Asia and Australia.

Passengers from Cyprus will be able to book onward services via Abu Dhabi to Sydney checking in their luggage at Larnaca airport through to the final destination.

The arrangement gives Cobalt Air a stronger presence in the Middle East and re-establishes a connection to Cyprus after Etihad withdrew in its own right in 2014.

Cobalt Air started flying to Abu Dhabi from Larnaca in February using two-class Airbus A320 aircraft, with economy fares starting at €75 one way.

The airline’s chief commercial officer Paul Simmons (pictured) said: “Cobalt is less than two years old and to be adopted as an interline partner by Etihad Airways, one of the biggest and most prestigious carriers in the world, is major recognition for us.

“We are delighted to start this exciting new relationship and offer Cyprus people more convenient connections beyond Abu Dhabi.

“We anticipate great demand year-round from the UAE for our beautiful Island and this new connection with Etihad opens the market up even more. UAE-originating passengers can also fly onwards from Larnaca on our growing network.”

Cobalt Air, which joined Iata at the end of last year, serves 21 destinations in 12 countries.