Airport operator Hermes announced on Friday that passenger traffic last year set a new record as 7.6 million passengers went through Larnaca and Paphos airports.
Despite a slow start at the beginning of the year, traffic picked up “delivering the best results to date,” Hermes said in a statement.
“Applying an effective strategy, Hermes has managed to surpass the initial adverse conditions,” said Hermes Airports CEO Wes Porter. “We are happy with these results, however we believe that the potential is much higher particularly with regards the tourism arrivals on the island and the further increase of the passenger traffic”.
Throughout 2015, 7.608,655 passengers passed through the country’s International Airports, an increase of 3.6 per cent, Hermes said.
In 2014, 7.345,214 passengers, passed through the two airports.
“Approximately 5.3mln passengers passed through Larnaca International Airport during 2015, an increase of 1.6 per cent in relation to 2014.”
Paphos recorded an 8.6 per cent rise in passenger traffic with around 2.2mln passengers.
During 2015 Cyprus airports had to overcome two major challenges, namely the closure of Cyprus Airways and a reduction of the expected arrivals from Russia, which caused a loss of some 1.5mln seats from the market.
“The recovery on both fronts has been exceptional” through the replacement of Cyprus Airways routes by other airlines, as well as significant growth in markets such as UK(+5 per cent), Greece(+16 per cent), Israel(+36.1 per cent), Germany(+16.2 per cent), Austria(+15.6 per cent), Ukraine(+30.8 per cent) and Poland(+34.2 per cent).
In addition, new airlines and routes have been introduced, enriching the Cyprus airports’ network, Hermes said.
Currently, over 70 airlines operate to Larnaca and Paphos airports to more than 110 destinations in 40 countries.