Some 4,500 Finnish tourists are expected to visit the island this year, as Cyprus re-establishes a direct connection with Helsinki this summer.
Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos, speaking with the Finnish ambassador and the junior tourism minister at his side, said that five flights a week will arrive at Larnaca airport from Finland, two of which will be carried out by flag carrier Finnair.
“This is a very important moment for both countries, which we have been working on for a long time. This is the result of coordinated actions of the competent bodies of Cyprus, including the Deputy Ministry of Tourism.”
Karousos said that due to the war in Ukraine, Cyprus will be seeing 1.6 million fewer passengers than originally expected for this year, and that stakeholders have been working round the clock to add more destinations to the island’s flights schedule.
“In August this year, Cyprus will be welcoming a total of 758 flights a week,” he said.
Karousos added that in 2020 and 2021 Cyprus saw the sixth smallest drop in Europe in terms of direct connectivity.
In 2021, some 62 airlines had Cyprus on their flight schedules, with the island enjoying connections to 158 destinations in 40 countries.
Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said that Finland used to be a significant market for the island in the past, adding that stakeholders are working on re-establishing tourist flows from the Nordic country.
Welcoming the resumption of Larnaca-Helsinki flights, Perdios said that, “we want to offer Finnish tourists the chance to experience the authenticity of Cyprus.”
Also present for the announcement, Finland’s ambassador to Nicosia, Harri Mäki-Reinikka, noted that the two countries may be considered geographically distant, but with direct flights, they will come closer.
In addition, ties between the two countries would be strengthened and entrepreneurship and trade would recover.
“Cyprus is a beautiful island, an ideal and attractive destination for Finns who appreciate not only the sun and the sea, but also gastronomy, wine, nature, sports facilities and friendly people,” said Mäki-Reinikka.
He also described Finland as an attractive tourist and cultural destination for Cypriots, especially during the warmer months of the year.
The Finnish Ambassador said that in the 1980s and 1990s, some 25,000 Finnish tourists would visit Cyprus every year.
At the same time, he noted that Finland’s exports to Cyprus before the pandemic were higher than those to Greece and mentioned that some world-renown Finnish brands also operate out of Cyprus, such as KONE and Valio.