By Bejay Browne
LOW-cost carrier Ryanair has announced its winter 2015 Paphos schedule with a seat sale valid until midnight today, Thursday.
The announcement said that the airline was releasing 100,000 seats for sale across its European network, from €19.99, for travel in May and June. These low fare seats are available for booking until midnight Thursday April 9.
The new schedule includes six routes from Paphos: Athens, Chania, Thessaloniki, Rome Ciampino, Brussels Charleroi and London Stansted.
The announcement noted that with six routes in total and extra flights to Athens, the airline will deliver thousands of travellers a year to Paphos and help to support the local workforce.
Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Maria Macken said: “Ryanair is pleased to launch our biggest ever Paphos winter 2015 schedule, with 6 routes in total and extra flights to Athens (2 x daily), which will deliver over 650,000 customers per annum and support 650 on site jobs at Paphos International airport.”
Head of the Paphos Regional Board of Tourism, Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, said that the announcement was welcome news and would help winter tourism, adding that tourism officials hope the airline will further increase capacity and routes in the near future.
“We are very happy to see that Ryanair is continuing to support Paphos and enriching flights to and from Paphos International airport. We would also be interested to explore the possibility of adding new routes targeting priority markets such as Israel, Denmark, the Netherlands, regional airports in France and others.”
During a visit to Paphos in February, Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien, said that charges were astronomically high at both of Cyprus airports, which deters airlines.
However, the tourist head described a recent government incentives package, agreed in March, to encourage airlines to choose Cyprus as a ‘positive step forward.’
The new package was signed last month between airports’ operator Hermes and the ministry of communications, works and transport. It is hoped the scheme will increase connectivity and passenger numbers, in particular during the winter months.
The package covers both Larnaca and Paphos airport and is being offered to all airlines.
It allows for the introduction of multiple new routes on a three-year agreement basis, development of new routes and winter traffic, discounts on landing fees at Cypriot airports, development through a ‘Growth Bonus Plan’ on a net traffic growth for existing routes, and marketing support for the promotion of Cyprus by the airlines.
“The incentive scheme shows that the government recognise that there is a need to improve accessibility to the island. This is a practical action which we hope will encourage air carries and enhance access to Cyrus,” said Hadjigeorgiou.
Ryanair noted that customers using the airline could now enjoying allocated seating, a free second carry-on bag, reduced fees, a new website, a brand new app with mobile boarding passes, as well as Ryanair’s Family Extra and Business Plus services.