Onur Air was established on 14 April 1992 and started revenue operations using a wet-leased Airbus A320 with a flight to Ercan in North Cyprus on 14 May of that year. «Onur» means proud, self-esteem in Turkish. Over the next years, the Onurair fleet grew, so that by the end of 1995, it included nine aircraft. Previously its head office was in Florya, Bakırköy, Istanbul.
In 1996, Ten Tour acquired ownership of the airline. By 1997 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 twin-jet airliners had been added to the fleet. Due to a recession,[specify] Onur Air had to reduce the size of its fleet to 13 in 1998, and then to 9 in 1999. Since then the airline has expanded again.
In August 2019, Onur Air established a new, partly-owned subsidiary named Holiday Europe for leisure flights between Europe and destinations around the Mediterranean. Onur Air provides aircraft and crews for the new brand.