Cyprus witnessed a decline in air passenger traffic in April of this year, despite record highs in the preceding months, according to a report by Hermes Airports.

The downturn is attributed to the escalating crisis in the Middle East following an Iranian attack on Israel in April, which led to the closure of airspaces in Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan. This disruption negatively impacted flights to and from these regions.

Paphos Airport was hit hardest by the reduced air passenger volume. In April 2024, total passenger traffic across both Larnaca and Paphos airports stood at 959,300, compared to 966,300 in April 2023 and 864,900 in April 2019.

Larnaca Airport saw an increase in passenger numbers, handling 655,000 passengers this April, up from 653,200 last year and 598,900 in April 2019.

Conversely, Paphos Airport experienced a decline, with 304,300 passengers this April compared to 313,100 last year, although still higher than the 266,000 recorded in April 2019.

Despite the April decline, overall air traffic remains above pre-pandemic levels. For the first four months of 2024, air traffic reached 2.6 million passengers.

In 2023, Cyprus airports recorded over 11.6 million passengers, the highest ever, marking a 3 per cent increase compared to 2019.