After intense negotiations for several days in Moscow, the Russian Federation has agreed to restart regular flights to Cyprus on May 1, according to a tourism industry source.
An official announcement is expected in the coming days.
“We are back in business!” was how the source received the news.
The hotel industry also welcomed the news. A number of Cyprus hotels have substantial bookings in May from Russian tourists. “There had been a real chance that Russia would shut flights down, ” an airlines industry source noted. “But now the tourism recovery can begin!”
The decision was taken after meetings among Cyprus and Russian Federation government officials throughout the week with airline and travel industry representatives.
Concern about flights to Cyprus increased after Russia shut down nearly all flights to Turkey, citing rising coronavirus cases. And, before the meetings this week, passenger-and-freight flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Larnaca from the end of April to mid-May had largely disappeared from the schedules of several airlines.
Aeroflot will kick off on May 1 with one flight per day from Moscow to Larnaca. The airline is harnessing a big Boeing 777-400 to carry what Cyprus hoteliers and tour operators hope will be large groups.
From St. Petersburgh, there will be three flights per day starting on May 1.
All of the other airlines that fly from Russia to Cyprus will be able to operate flights as scheduled. Seven airlines normally provide passenger flights to Cyprus from Russia: These are Aeroflot, Rossiya, Nordwind, S7, Ural Airlines, Cyprus Airways and Pobeda.
The low-cost airline Pobeda, which belongs to Aeroflot, will have flights to Moscow once a week. Cyprus Airways has announced that it will restart its operations in May.
Russia has been placed in the ‘red’ category, meaning that travellers from these countries are allowed entry if they carry a negative coronavirus test, no older than 72 hours, and take another upon arrival.