Cyprus Mail

Passenger traffic showing signs of substantial recovery

After 18 difficult months caused by the coronavirus pandemic, air traffic in Cyprus has reported a substantial recovery in both arriving and departing flights, according to airport operator Hermes.

“The latest signs point to a steady upward trend,” a statement published by Hermes on Thursday said. “We hope to have left the worst behind.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic and throughout the various lockdowns, the airport operator has maintained regular contacts with airlines and tourism stakeholders, as air connectivity for Cyprus is of paramount importance.

“During the last difficult months, we have worked hard on the resumption of international travel.

“We are happy to report that, despite the difficulties we had to face, a total of 50 airlines transited through our airports, compared to 70 in 2019. Most of them will continue to fly to and from the island during the winter months as well,” Hermes said.

The number of passengers departing from or arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports amounted to only 33 per cent of those two years ago. However, August saw 867,104 passengers transiting at the two airports, a percentage close to 60 per cent of the total number of passengers registered in 2019. In August 2020 only 296,266 passengers arrived and departed from the island’s two airports.

Hermes finally revealed that air traffic in 2021 in Cyprus consisted of 22 per cent of people with Cypriot nationality or permanent residency and the remaining 78 per cent concerned people without permanent residency.

From May to August, around 82 per cent of non-permanent residents in Cyprus came for holidays, while 10 per cent visited relatives and friends and 3 per cent came for business reasons.

Most travellers, around 47 per cent, chose the Famagusta area as their destination, followed by Paphos (27 per cent), Limassol and Larnaca (12 per cent) and Nicosia (1 per cent).

Russians are choosing the Famagusta area where Ayia Napa is located, while most Brits choose Paphos.

In the same period of time, most tourists stayed for a week, while around 11 per cent stayed for two. A surprising 20 per cent of travellers stayed for up to six days, suggesting an increase in the tendency for short getaways in Cyprus by foreign tourists.

Finally, Hermes reported an increase in tourists from Italy, with a tendency for choosing cheaper accommodation once in the island.

“This gives us an opportunity to build connections and links with Italy for the future,” the airport operator said.

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