Cyprus is among five EU states that saw more flights in March this year compared with the same month pre-pandemic, Eurostat data showed on Monday.

The island also had the third largest increase in the number of flights compared to March 2022 and the fourth biggest rise compared to February 2023 among the member states.

On an EU level, March 2023 saw a 15.4 per cent increase in commercial flights year-on-year but the number of flights remained down by 15.3 per cent compared to March 2019. However, there was a 16.7 per cent increase compared to February 2023.

Only five member states recorded an increase on commercial flights last month, with Portugal’s flights up by 10.7 per cent and Croatia’s 10.5 per cent.

Third was Cyprus with a 6.9 per cent rise, translating to 4,720 flights to and from the island in March 2023. Following was Greece and Bulgaria with 2.1 and a 0.5 per cent increases respectively.

All other EU countries continued to record a decrease in the number of flights compared to the same month four years ago. The largest decreases were in Slovenia at 43.2 per cent, Latvia, 29 per cent and Germany at 28.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the number of flights to and from Cyprus were up 29.5 per cent in March 2023 compared to March 2022, beaten only by Sweden’s 31.4 per cent and Bulgaria’s 31 per cent. This was followed by Austria with 28.8 per cent and Slovenia with 28.3 per cent.

All member states recorded year-on-year increases, with the lowest recorded in Belgium at 4.3 per cent, Estonia at 7.1 per cent and Lithuania where flights were up by 8 per cent.

Furthermore, the number of flights in March 2023 also increased compared to February 2023 in all member states.

Cyprus recorded an increase of 26.2 per cent, following Croatia with 31.7 per cent, Slovenia with 28.4 per cent and the Czech Republic with 26.8 per cent. Malta recorded a 25.9 per cent rise.

In contrast, the lowest monthly increases were registered in Finland with 9.6 per cent, France 9.8 per cent and Lithuania 14.6 per cent.