A new passenger traffic record for the airports of Larnaca and Paphos was celebrated by airport operator Hermes on Thursday, as they hit a record of 11 million passengers for the first time.
“It is estimated that more than 11.3 million passengers will have travelled to and from the two airports by the end of the year, continuing the upward trend of the past few years, with passenger traffic recording an increase of 60 per cent between 2013 and today,” Hermes said.
The event was attended by the transport minister, Yiannis Karousos the deputy minister of tourism Savvas Perdios, MPs and tourism industry representatives.
Hermes airports’ CEO, Eleni Kaloyirou said the 11 million record signalled a new era.
“Our planning is based on the gradual reduction of our dependence on saturated markets, further expanding Cyprus’ connectivity to new destinations, and attracting tourists from countries that were previously poorly represented,” she said.
Kaloyirou also referred to the renovation of a number of public spaces at the two airports, the aim of which is to provide an upgraded travel experience for passengers, as well as a multifaceted ‘Sense of Cyprus’ for visitors, through facilities that reflect the island’s history and nature.
Both Kaloyirou and Karousos said that the growth happened although it was a difficult year for the air transport sector, with several airlines, big business, closing down.
“This didn’t bother our airports,” Kaloyirou said, adding that just two years ago the record of 10 million passengers was celebrated.
During the event, the company shared a video that presented all of its achievements since 2006, when it assumed the operation and development of Larnaca and Paphos airports, having invested more than €640m.
She also presented the company’s environmental plans relating to the operation of the two airports following on from its commitment or net-zero carbon emissions at the two airports by 2050 under the NetZero 2050 deal.
Already, Hermes has acquired the highest level of the ACA certification (Level 3+), after reducing the carbon emissions of its facilities to the greatest possible extent, while in 2020 the company will also start building photovoltaic parks at Larnaca and Paphos in order to save energy by 25 percent and 30 per cent respectively.
Another milestone was celebrated just a week ago. Unlike at Thursday’s event, the passenger who set the new record was present.
On December 11, a Polish traveller, Natalia Albinowska, was the three millionth passenger to pass through Paphos airport this year.
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.