Activity at the airports is picking up with 60 flights set to take place on Monday to and from Larnaca and Paphos airports, an official said.
“At Larnaca airport, it is reminiscent of the good old times as on some days there has been an increased number of flights,” senior director of aviation development of Hermes Airports Maria Kouroupi told CNA on Monday.
“But we’re still far from where we would have been under normal circumstances during a typical year,” she added.
She said that flights from the UK are expected to pick up in June as various airlines – including British Airways – began adding flights to their schedule for that period.
Thirty flights are arriving and 25 are departing from Larnaca airport on Monday from Serbia, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, the UAE, the UK, Austria, Israel, Egypt, Sweden and Romania.
Two arrivals and two departures are set for Paphos, from Russia and Israel.
A total of 220 flights are expected this week, Kouroupi said, while this figure is changing on a weekly basis although she said that due to Cyprus’ current epidemiological situation some companies are waiting a while longer to resume flights.
Cyprus is hoping to boost its tourism profile this summer, having recently announced that there will be no entry restrictions for vaccinated tourists from May 10 – and that their flight pass will act as a ‘safepass’ locally.
On the topic of Russia, she said that “from today, we are accepting the Sputnik vaccine… but whoever hasn’t been vaccinated [from Russia] will have to carry out two checks, so a PCR test 72 hours prior to their flight and another test upon arrival in Cyprus.”
As for Israel, for which there has been much said of the nation as an emerging tourism market, she said: “After the good occupancy rates within the first days, during this period it is about 35-40 per cent” – noting that there is a chance that flights may be reduced.
Kouroupi also pointed out that from last year up until April of 2021, the proportion of positive cases at the airports accounted for half a per cent of the total seen on the island.
There is also a great deal of volatility, as she noted that flight schedules can be changed up to three times a week due to cancellations due to low occupancy rates.