Cyprus Airways held a press conference on Wednesday in which it presented its strategic plan for the coming five years, with CEO Paul Sies recapping the airline’s achievements and how it managed to survive during a difficult period for air transport.

The event, which was titled ‘Cyprus Airways – The present and the future’, took place at the Constantinos Leventis amphitheatre in Nicosia, with Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios in attendance, alongside Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos, and Hermes Airports CEO Eleni Kalogerou.

During the press conference, Sies stressed how much the airline has accomplished over the past two years, explaining that it had to face unprecedented challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as geopolitical disruptions on the international level.

Despite this, Sies said, the airline stuck to its commitment to support the island with the necessary level of air connectivity, including for repatriation flights and other essential services, including postal and freight connectivity, among others.

During 2022, Cyprus Airways embarked on a path of recovery, reviewing and improving its routes, pricing and distribution channels. In terms of new routes, the airline recently added Paris and Rome, while it has also boosted its capacity for the winter period, invested in new aircraft, while it has also proceeded with plans to hire additional members of staff.

According to the company, the airline’s new strategic plan “will see the operation of a hybrid business model, which will offer its customers a low-cost base, but also enable them to shape their own travel experience, upgrading their services according to their needs”.

“To deliver such a scaling-up of its services, the airline has embarked on a digital transformation process to maximise its ancillary revenue, ensuring that its customers always get the best value for money,” the company added.

Moreover, the distribution of the company’s sales network has also been enhanced, not only with API connectivity to multiple partners but also with better legacy GDS connectivity to ensure that Cyprus Airways seats are easily viewable, priced and ticketed globally.

Next year Cyprus Airways will operate with four Airbus A320ceo aircraft with a view to transitioning to the Airbus A320neo by 2025.

There are plans to increase the fleet to six aircraft in 2024, nine aircraft in 2025 and up to 11 aircraft by 2026.

Part of this fleet will be used for aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) operations and charter services, which will enable stable revenue streams and other financial contributions to the airline.

What is more, following the recent launch of routes to Paris and Rome, Cyprus Airways intends to continue to expand its European network and further develop tourism and business traffic between points, while increasing connectivity to Cypriot nationals.

The airline also intends to offer a network of year-round core scheduled routes connecting the island with major cities within a 1.5-hour radius.

This will allow Cyprus Airways to offer in-network connectivity to and from Athens, Beirut and Tel Aviv, while also serving the main European cities and seasonal routes to various Greek islands.

In addition, the airline plans to operate in 18 destinations next year and up to 30 destinations by 2026.

“Today we are excited to announce five new destinations for summer 2023: Milan, Zurich, Prague, Basel and Cairo,” Sies said during the press conference.

Next year the airline will resume twice-weekly flights to Prague, Zurich and Cairo, and for the first time twice-weekly to Basel.

Milan Bergamo will also be served twice a week with the possibility of increasing the operation to three times a week.

Current popular destinations such as Paris and Rome will remain in service throughout the summer along with Santorini (twice weekly), Skiathos (twice weekly) and Preveza (twice weekly).

Crete and Rhodes will be served by flights three times a week, while Thessaloniki will be served daily.

Beirut will regain its daily route, while flights to Tel Aviv will increase to up to 10 flights per week.

Routes to Yerevan, Armenia will increase to four weekly flights, while Athens will be served by three daily flights.

“Cyprus Airways is strategically positioned to connect Europe with Asia, the Middle East and Africa,” Sies said.

“Our plan is based on being a lean organisation with a strong brand and ambition to achieve the development and structural connection of Cyprus with Europe and beyond,” the Cyprus Airways CEO concluded.