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Transport ministry says flight incentives proved a success

Larnaca Airport

The ministry of transport on Wednesday said a programme to offer incentives to passenger airlines was a success as Cyprus showed one of the smallest reductions in Europe in terms of arrivals caused by the pandemic.

The ministry said total arrivals to the island in the first eight months of the year reached 2,881,631 passengers.

For the same period in 2020, a total of 1,804,187 passengers arrived at airports islandwide.

According to a Eurostat report the number of flights in August this year was an 82 per cent climb on the same figure last year although it was still 24 per cent lower than before the pandemic in 2019.

The ministry developed an airline incentive plan that provided subsidies to companies based on the aircraft’s occupancy rate.

This contributed to the restoration of Cyprus’ air connectivity with Europe and the rest of the world and supported the Cyprus economy, the ministry said.

According to the ministry, Cyprus has managed to attract new airlines and add new destinations including Paris, Marseille, Dortmund and Hannover, while flights to destinations such as Athens, Moscow and Kyev have increased.

Cyprus and seven other EU member states, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Romania, jointly called for the extension of the temporary support of air connectivity by the Commission beyond 2021.

The declaration highlights the need to formulate a comprehensive action plan at a European Union level to address this problem in the post-pandemic era.

Meanwhile in Paphos, a total of 118,945 passengers used the airport during the first two weeks of September.

According to Hermes Airport data, 63,081 passengers arrived at Paphos Airport and 55,864 departed.

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