October has been the best month so far this year as regards passenger traffic, Hermes Airports said on Monday.

According to Hermes, that runs the Larnaca and Paphos airports, passenger arrivals and departures reached 951,820 last month (619,501 at the Larnaca airport and 332,319 in Paphos) compared with 867,097 recorded in August which is usually the month with the most trips.

“This is a positive development, given that this year and the last one travelling was in generally in recession due to the pandemic and the measures to curb it,” Hermes said in a statement.

Most tourist traffic was from the UK, Russia, Greece, Germany and Poland.

Arrival data show a significant influx of passengers from the UK, even though until July there was still uncertainty as to whether the country would open its borders to tourists, it added.

It also said that in October there was an increase in occupancy rates compared to August.

At the same time, during this period, there was an upward trend in trips of Cypriots abroad because of the long weekends due to public holidays at the beginning and at the end of the month. Hermes also said a significant increase in the inflow of solo travellers was recorded.

According to Maria Kouroupi, senior manager aviation development, marketing & communications at Hermes Airports, among the many factors that contributed to “these encouraging results” for October, was the improvement of Cyprus’ epidemiological outlook earlier in the month.

She said the fact that Cyprus was put from the red to the orange category by the ECDC at the beginning of October had played a significant role.

“Although our stay in this category was a short one, it nevertheless gave a boost to Cyprus’ image abroad,” Kouroupi said.

The fact that two public holidays were close to weekends at the beginning and end of October prompted many Cypriots to travel to various destinations, she added.

Citing a report by the European Travel Commission (ETC) that two in three Europeans plan to travel within the next six months, Kouroupi also referred to the public’s great need to travel again. She said the ETC records show there is great demand for trips to European destinations.