The island’s airports saw the best February ever, with passenger numbers up 10 per cent over the pre-pandemic month in 2019, operating company Hermes said on Friday.

According to Hermes, a total of 454,000 passengers travelled through Larnaca and Paphos airports.

The company said of these, 315,830 used Larnaca airport, recording a 114 per cent increase in comparison to 2022 and a five per cent increase over 2019. Meanwhile, 138,778 passengers used Paphos airport, which saw a 58 per cent increase over 2022 and 26 per cent over 2019.

The top markets were Greece, the United Kingdom, Israel, Poland and Germany, corresponding to approximately 70 per cent of total passenger traffic, with a nearly 80 per cent load factor.

In comparison to February 2019, 11 new destinations were introduced including Paris, Prague, Rome and Marseilles which helped replace the loss of the Russian and Ukrainian markets due to the war.

“Our country’s connectivity is the driving force of Cyprus’ tourism industry. We are proud that the efforts made during the previous years have borne fruit, while the very positive results of February reaffirm the people’s desire to travel as well as the fact that Cyprus is gradually winning odds on becoming a year-round destination,” senior manager of aviation development and communication at Hermes Airports Maria Kouroupi said.

“We are confident that this upward trend will continue in the months to come, and it will expedite the recovery of the tourism industry.”