A Polish traveller, Natalia Albinowska was left stunned on Wednesday when she registered as the three millionth passenger to pass through Paphos airport this year.
Albinowska scanned her boarding card and passed through a security gate to departures where members of the Cyprus media, dignitaries from airport operator Hermes and the mayor of Paphos, Phedonas Phedonos, greeted her.
Albinowska was handed a bouquet of flowers and a bag of other goodies courtesy of Hermes, to the song ‘Celebration,” as other travellers looked on.
“This is my first time in Cyprus, I was here for a short four-day holiday. I really like Paphos and I had nice weather, it was sunny, so I enjoyed it. I will come back,” she told the Cyprus Mail.
Following the presentation, high ranking members of the Cyprus police the Paphos regional board of tourism, local government, Hermes airport staff and other dignitaries were invited to a buffet lunch held in a cordoned-off space in the food court area of departures.
Hermes Airports assumed management and control of Paphos and Larnaca International Airports on May 12, 2006, under a 25-year BOT (Build – Operate – Transfer) concession agreement with the Cyprus government, making it the first privatisation of its kind in the country. The consortium comprises of a mix of Cypriot and international partners.
Paphos airport was inaugurated on November 17, 2008 and was voted “most accessible airport” by ‘Airports Council International – Europe’ (2018)
In 2006, some 1,832,655 passengers used the facility and in 2012, the number of passengers exceeded two million for the first time. This year, 2019, the number will exceed three million passengers.
In total, over 11 million passengers travel through the International Airports of Larnaca and Paphos every year.
According to Hermes, Paphos airport is utilised by 24 airlines flying to 50 destinations in 25 counties. These include Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, Estonia, United Kingdom, Jordan, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Holland, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Finland.
Some of Hermes upcoming projects include, a planned photovoltaic park of 20,000m2 that will cover 30 per cent of the airports’ annual energy use. To enhance the passenger experience, the upgrading and refurbishment of the airport restaurants and shops are earmarked for 2020 – 2021. In addition, new stores will also be added and a Paphos graffiti project in the departure area will also get underway in 2020.