Startup carrier Cyprus Airways has secured its air operator’s certificate (AOC) and plans to launch operations “very soon.”

The new Cyprus Airways received its first aircraft, an Airbus A319, on Dec. 1, 2016. At the time, the airline said it planned to secure the AOC before the end of 2016.

Giving a March 14 update via its Facebook page, Cyprus Airways said it had received the AOC and will “begin flying soon.”

Larnaca-based Cyprus Airways plans to operate A319s to destinations in Europe and the Middle East. The airline’s website  is not yet live.

The Cyprus Airways brand was secured by Charlie Airlines in July 2016 under a 10-year deal with the Cypriot government. Charlie Airlines was founded by Russia’s S7 Group co-owner Vladislav Filev.

A S7 spokeswoman confirmed the AOC to ATW and added that the startup also needs a commercial transport license before it can sell tickets and launch operations.

Cyprus has been without a locally based airline since national flag carrier Cyprus Airways went out of business in January 2015 after a long period of decline.

Victoria Moores