Kinda Airlines is set to launch in May, despite the ongoing civil war that has engulfed Syria
Kinda Airlines is set to launch in May, despite the ongoing civil war that has engulfed Syria

Syria is set to launch an ironically named aviation group called Kinda Airlines and will operate from the war-ravaged country's capital Damascus and the coastal city of Latakia.

Kinda Airlines, backed by a handful of private investors, is only the second company to challenge the dominant Syrianair since the air industry was liberalised in 2008.

According to the company's website, Kinda plans to fly to destinations including the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Kuwait.

The launch has been anything but smooth so far.

The first Kinda flight was due in January this year, only to be delayed until April. The inaugural flight has now been pushed back to 1 May due to "documents that aren't ready and paperwork inside Syria."

As well as sparking online outrage among Syrian government opponents, the brand "Kinda" has inevitably been the source of online laughs.

Social media has been awash with jokes, with one Twitter user posting "This is your captain. Kinda airlines may be landing shortly. Sorta first class, please stow your tray tables."

The Syrian government and its allies are subject to wide-ranging international sanctions from the United States and the European Union among others.

Some flights have continued to run out of Damascus over the past year, despite the conflict that has paralysed swathes of the country.

The launch of a new airline demonstrates the changing dynamic of the Syrian conflict as forces loyal to the government have taken control of large parts of the country in recent months.

Rebels have lost key ground near the country's border with Lebanon, including the strategic town of Yabroud in March. It was the last remaining rebel stronghold on the border and a key smuggling route for weapons, fighters and supplies.

At least 140,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict, which is stretching into its fourth year. Peaceful protests in March 2011 escalated after the government cracked down on demonstrators with lethal force.

The rebel cause escalated into a nationwide uprising, which attracted foreign fighters on both sides.

UN-brokered peace talks aimed at finding a settlement to the conflict broke down in February without a resolution.