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Cyprus Airways allowed to resume flights to Russia

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Cyprus Airways on Thursday announced it had added routes to Moscow and St. Petersburg to its network for this winter after the Russian authorities gave the green light.

The company said earlier this week it could not operate its planned new weekly flight schedule from Larnaca to Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, which was scheduled to start at the end of November after Russian authorities placed restrictions on the airline.

On Thursday, it said the obstacles had been overcome.

“We are extremely happy that we managed to overcome the obstacles we recently faced with the Russian authorities for the operation of our flights to Moscow,” Chief Operations Officer of Cyprus Airways, George Mavrocostas said.

Following this development, Cyprus Airways said it will operate flights to Moscow Domodedovo Airport once a week until January 15, 2021 while flights to St. Petersburg will commence on January 21.

Mavrocostas said they were forced to publicly raise this issue after the bad experience last month of some of their  passengers since the airline had to inform them at the airport that they could not fly to Moscow due to the refusal of the Russian authorities to allow the airline in.

Earlier in the week, he said the company was discriminated against by Russian authorities since they had “arbitrarily” limited or completely prohibited Cyprus Airways to carry passengers to the Russian Federation. He had said that two Russian air carriers recently started operations on the route Moscow-Larnaca-Moscow without having similar restrictions imposed by the Russian authorities.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos and the Russian embassy in Nicosia had said they were working to resolve the problem.

Karousos had said it appeared that the decision was taken as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus but this also meant that Russian citizens would not be able to travel from Cyprus to their country.

Mavrokostas on Thursday thanked Karousos, the Civil Aviation Department, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchiy and the Federal Agency for Air Transport for all their efforts.

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