Air traffic picking up, high hopes for 2022

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In recent months, Cyprus airport operators have been encouraged by the uptick in passengers and are optimistic that traffic will stabilise before taking off next year.

Hermes Airports, the operator of Larnaca and Paphos airports, said 822,928 passengers passed through in September, compared to 577,794 last year, recording an increase of 38%.

Some 552,771 passengers went through Larnaca Airport (281,692 arrivals and 271,079 departures), with the majority catching a flight to or arriving from Russia, the UK, Greece, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, and Israel.

According to Hermes, the average capacity of flights leaving or arriving at Cyprus’ airports was 75%.

In the first nine months of the year, a total of 3,334,162 passengers walked through the island’s airports, an increase of 72.3%, or 1,399,097 more passengers, compared to the same period last year.

“The data from the September air traffic is quite encouraging.

“It is important that we have flights from a variety of destinations and markets that we did not have before, while the average occupancy rate is satisfactory,” Hermes Airports Senior Marketing Director Maria Kouroupi was quoted by news website Stockwatch.

Kouroupi added: “The year will close with 42% of the traffic recorded in 2019, given that in the first half of the year, we had very little traffic.

“However, under the circumstances, these percentages are a good end to a very difficult year.

“At the same time, the data so far allow us to be optimistic for an even better 2022.”

In the coronavirus stricken 2020, Cyprus had just 2.3 million passengers, far less than the 11.3 mln record of pre-coronavirus 2019.