To improve the island’s air connectivity, the main goal for Larnaca and Paphos airports is to attract new airlines and expand the current flight schedule, an official said on Monday.

The recent addition of flights by Ryanair and Wizz Air at the island’s airports “is a very good sign,” airport operator Hermes’ senior director of aviation development and communications Maria Kouropi added.

“A raft of new available destinations and the increase in the frequency of existing flights will significantly enhance Cyprus’ connectivity and passenger traffic,” she told the Cyprus News Agency.

Kouropi also praised the recent incentive plan for airlines promoted by the transport ministry, explaining that it too will certainly contribute to Cyprus’ air connectivity.

Last month, cabinet approved the €165 million incentive plan for airlines for the period 2023-2027 to bring in up to 13.7 million visitors, which had been proposed jointly by the ministries of transport and finance.

“In order for airlines to be able to grow, they need to keep their costs at a controlled level, particularly in this period. In that sense, the incentive plans will represent a massive help for them,” Kouroupi said.

“The recent announcement of new routes and flights schedule expansion by Ryanair and Wizz Air is a direct consequence of the incentive plans”.

Ryanair and Wizz Air are the two largest airlines in Europe. With them expanding their Cyprus schedule and announcing new destinations to and from our country, new opportunity for growth will arise, she added.

Kouroupi said refurbishment projects are being carried out at both airports.

“We have introduced different new technologies in order to improve the passengers’ experience and to reduce their waiting time in queues,” she concluded.

Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos on Thursday also said the area surrounding Paphos airport is in dire need of refurbishment and that expansion works for the facility are set to be discussed soon.

He further called on Hermes to be stricter and more thorough in the upkeep of the airport and the surrounding area.