April airport traffic at 85% of pre-COVID levels

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Passenger traffic at airports picked up in April during the Easter holidays, reaching 85% of 2019 pre-pandemic levels when Cyprus had record visitors.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos welcomed improved passenger traffic in the first four months of the year; it was 70% compared to the same period of 2019.

According to figures released by the Transport Ministry Tuesday, passenger traffic at Cyprus airports in January-April has reached 70% of the traffic recorded pre-coronavirus.

Up to April 30, 1,587,337 passengers went through Larnaca and Paphos Airports, compared to 230,908 in the same period last year when COVID measures were stricter.

In April alone, 732,626 passengers went through Larnaca and Paphos airports, from only 108,030 in April last year. As a result, flight capacity was 81%.

The largest share of April passenger traffic came from the United Kingdom (241,000), followed by Greece (117,000), Germany (52,000), Israel (51,000), Poland (35,000), and Austria (29,000) and Italy (20,000).

Karousos said: “The fact that passenger traffic in April is at 85% of April 2019 sends optimistic messages regarding the country’s air connectivity and the effort to fill the gap created in the markets of Russia and Ukraine”.

He said that despite the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, Cyprus boosted its air connectivity, opened up to new markets, and attracted airlines to establish a base on the island.

“The Ministry of Transport, together with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the manager of Hermes Airports, continue our efforts to reinstate Cyprus’ air connectivity,” said Karousos.

Cyprus had initially expected to see the movement of 9 million passengers this year; however, revised estimates following the war in Ukraine pushed the number down to around 7.5 million.

The tourism sector is still licking its wounds from the coronavirus pandemic and imposed restrictions.

According to data released by airports operator Hermes Airports, passenger traffic at Larnaca and Paphos in 2019 was 11,273,748; it dropped 79.5% to 2,312,806 passengers in 2020.

In 2021, 5.1 million passengers were recorded at Cyprus airports.