Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos who is in Brussels for a meeting with his EU counterparts, has presented Cyprus’ Declaration on Air Connectivity to high-ranking officials from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

The Declaration on Air Connectivity is an initiative by Cyprus calling for extension of support to air carriers on connectivity.

Karousos met with Conrad Clifford, Iata’s Senior Vice President and Deputy Director General, and Jorge Dieguez, Iata’s Director for EU International Affairs.

The minister discussed the content of the declaration with the two Iata officials. The declaration has already been adopted by 11 member states.

It is expected that it will gain more support in this week’s upcoming EU transport ministers council.

Karousos explained that the declaration aims at extending, beyond the first six months of 2022, the provisional aviation support scheme in relation to connectivity, with a three-year extension.

“Considering that the pandemic has created enormous problems to island and regional states in relation to their connectivity, Cyprus managed to highlight the need to shape a comprehensive plan at EU level to address this problem in the post-pandemic era,” an official statement said.

The Iata officials, it added, welcomed Cyprus’ initiative and said that the content of the declaration includes the elements that will help improve the situation at European level in relation to connectivity.

They noted that the air transport sector around the world was facing difficulties due to the pandemic and that initiatives such as that of Cyprus should be taken as a means to return to normality.

They also expressed Iata’s readiness to contribute with its expertise to the initiative, and welcomed Karousos’ intention for organising a conference in Cyprus dedicated to connectivity.