Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: bulk of repatriation flights set to end on June 8, provision being made for stragglers

The repatriation flight programme is set to end in its current iteration on June 8, as most Cypriots abroad have already returned, but further flights will be made available if necessary.

It is expected that widespread commercial flights from Britain to Cyprus will resume on July 1. But from June 8 until July 1 the government is seeking alternatives to repatriating Cypriots.

It is understood that the transport ministry has invited a number of airlines, such as British Airways and Wizz, to express interest in operating flights from June 8 until July 1.

If the airlines do express their interest then people who are eligible for repatriation – Cypriots studying or working abroad – will be able to purchase commercial tickets from the airline directly.

Should the airlines not take up the offer to perform the commercial flights in this way, after June 8, then the government will step in to continue the repatriation flights as before.

“Most people have either returned or already registered for repatriation,” Nikos Petrou, founder of a Facebook group helping students in the UK, told the Cyprus Mail on Friday.

“But the government has asked airlines to express their interest in order to fulfil the flights for those who have not yet returned or registered.”

Petrou has spoken with government ministers on the matter and said that about 1,500 students have expressed an interest in returning in the next few weeks.

“With the existing flights, until June 8, most of these students are supposed to come back,” he said.

It is understood that the airlines have been given an unofficial deadline of five days. By next week it should become clearer as to whether repatriation flights will continue or the commercial flights for Cypriots will available instead.  

Cypriots abroad seeking repatriation can continue to register at the site 


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