Cyprus Mail
CyprusFeaturedMiddle East

No more commercial flights between Cyprus and Israel (Updated)

ΠτΔ – Σύσκεψη για το θέμα των πυρκα
File photo

By Iole Damaskinos and Tom Cleaver

There are now no commercial flights between Cyprus and Israel after Cypriot airline TUS Airways became the last to suspend its services between the two countries on Friday.

TUS Airways are the third and final airline to cancel flights between Cyprus and Israel, after Cyprus Airways stopped their flights on Thursday and Hungarian carrier Wizz Air suspended theirs on Sunday.

Philip Saunders, TUS Airways’ chief commercial officer, said “safety remains the company’s highest priority and this decision was taken after a thorough review of the developing situation in Israel.”

“In the last few days, the flying staff and all the staff at the company made a huge effort to strengthen the air connection with Israel, running many additional flights,” he said.

He added, “connecting Cyprus with Tel Aviv remains our highest priority, and our goal is to resume flights as soon as it is safe and feasible. TUS Airways will continue to review the situation daily with the aim of resuming flights as soon as possible.”

Cyprus Airways’ CEO Paul Sies said “the decision to suspend our Larnaca-Tel Aviv route wasn’t made lightly, but safety has and always will be our highest priority. We stand in solidarity with those affected and will do everything in our power to recommence operations when it is safe to do so.”

Meanwhile, a total of 268 European Union and third country nationals had arrived in Cyprus from Israel as part of the Estia plan as of midday on Friday.

The Foreign Ministry said the plan remains in effect and that they are expecting increased demand in the coming days.

To this end, Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos held a meeting of the ministerial crisis management group on Friday.

The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas, Public Order Minister Anna Procopiou, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades, Health Minister Popi Kanari, Tourism Deputy Minister Kostas Koumis, National Guard Chief Georgios Tsitsikostas, and Police Chief Stelios Papatheodorou.

At the meeting, the parties reviewed the activation of the Estia plan thus far in light of the latest developments in Israel and the wider region.

Discussions were also held regarding the possibility of war spreading to Lebanon, which entails the possibility of mass arrivals of refugees in Cyprus as a result.

In Cyprus, security measures have been stepped up at ports of entry and exit, checkpoints, embassies, places of religious worship, and other high-risk areas and Jewish establishments.

In addition, there is now a continuous presence of representatives of all the relevant services at the Zenon coordination centre in Larnaca, at Paphos airport, and at all of the Republic of Cyprus’ ports.

At the same time, the United States will begin offering charter flights to help its citizens leave Israel on Friday, following “extensive talks” between the country’s government and airlines.

According to the country’s State Department, Cyprus is set to be involved in the exodus, with boats set to operate between the Israeli port city of Haifa and the island to facilitate Americans leaving the country.

Flights will also be organised between Tel Aviv and both Frankfurt and Athens.

Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News

Related Posts

Construction material prices fall from previous year

Souzana Psara

Keravnos expects party meeting to resolve multiple pensions spat

Tom Cleaver

US House to vote on Ukraine and Israel aid, despite objections

Reuters News Service

Greeks in Cyprus warned to only vote once for MEP elections

Tom Cleaver

Cyprus travel agents pleased with tourist arrivals so far

Souzana Psara

Mouflons prepare for showdown against old rivals Malta

Press Release