Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos estimates that Cyprus will see 50 per cent more passenger traffic this year compared with 2021.
“I want to send the message that although we expect to lose about 1.6 million arrivals and departures, yet the numbers and figures show that we will have a 50 per cent increase compared with 2021,” he said.
Speaking at Larnaca airport during TUI’s plane-naming ceremony, where he described TUI as a “very important” partner for Cypriot tourism and aviation, Karousos added that the government was also in the process of preparing plans and incentives to attract more cruise ship tourism to the island.
“In 2021 we had the most cruise ships coming to the ports of Cyprus or ships based in our country in order to make up for any reduction in this sector from Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
According to the minister, Cyprus submitted a declaration on air connectivity to the EU transport council in June 2021, asking that the European Commission gives Cyprus the necessary tools to support the island’s air connectivity.
“We have seen that several countries have indicated that they will co-sign this declaration, a total of 14 countries, including Italy, Greece, Spain, the Baltic countries and Poland and in the coming months a conference will be organised where the transport ministers who support this declaration will be invited to have the official signature ceremony in Cyprus,” Karousos said.
The transport minister noted that Cyprus is a good example of how to deal with air transport difficulties.
“We have proven this because if we compare some statistics in 2019, which was the best period in terms of passenger traffic and tourism we have ever had, compared to 2021, we will find that we had more destinations available last year compared to 2019.”
At the same time, Karousos expressed confidence that Cyprus can push up aircraft occupancy from countries which share flight connections to Cyprus in an effort to make up the loss created by Russia and Ukraine.