Commercial flights to and from Cyprus increased during the summer, but they are still 24% lower than the pre-COVID boom in 2019.
According to data provided by Eurocontrol, flights across the European Union in August were reduced compared to 2019 due to the effects of the pandemic.
Even though the number of commercial flights has been increasing across Europe during the past few months, traffic has a long way to go before reaching pre-pandemic levels.
In August 2021, the number of commercial flights to and from Cyprus had decreased by 24% compared to August 2019.
The average reduction in flights across the EU during the same period stands at 31%.
But flights to and from Cyprus soared 82% this summer from August 2020 but were still lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Cyprus is in sixth place among countries with the lowest reduction in flights when compared to 2019.
Those with the lowest decreases in commercial flights in August 2021 were Greece (7%), Romania (18%), Croatia (22%), Luxembourg (24%) and Malta (24%).
In contrast, the biggest decline in flights was in Finland (60%), Ireland (55%), Slovenia (54%), Slovakia (52%) and Czechia (51%).
However, the recovery of the commercial air transport sector appears to be underway.
In August, the number of commercial flights in the EU increased by 48% compared with August 2020.
This is still well below the pre-pandemic levels (31% compared with August 2019).
In absolute terms, the number of commercial flights stood at 479,000 in August 2021, compared with 325,000 in August 2020 and 696,000 in August 2019.
The number of commercial flights in the 27-country bloc increased by 72.8% in July, year-on-year, and 47.6% in August.
However, these figures remained about a third below what they were before COVID-19 emerged, with 479,000 flights taking off last month, compared to 696,000 in August 2019.
Flights over the previous two months — the high season for travel across Europe — was below those recorded in January and February 2020 before the number of commercial flights across the continent started their precipitous fall as member states implemented lockdowns and closed their borders to curb the spread of COVID-19.
To boost tourism, EU countries launched a COVID passport in early July, allowing people who had either been fully vaccinated, tested negative pre-travel, or recently recovered from the disease to jet off to other member states.