Cyprus limits impact of EU green targets on aviation

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Cyprus has managed to achieve solutions to limit the effects on flight connectivity of implementing EU targets for reducing air pollution,  Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos told MPs.

He said Cyprus ensured that Brussels recognised the special conditions of the island regions.

Karousos said there would be a 100% subsidy for the difference between conventional fuel and biofuel prices with free emission trading rights for airlines.

There were also some exemptions for airline refuelling for countries such as Cyprus and Malta and a commitment by the European Commission to prepare a report on the impact of its pollution policy on island connectivity.

Karousos said that the liberalisation of airport ground services had brought benefits to airlines due to the 50% reduction in costs.

He highlighted the positive results from implementing the new €165 mln airline incentive plan for 2023-27 and that more aircraft based in Cyprus will provide over 1.3 million additional seats.

Due to these developments, he added, there was no increase in ticket prices to Cyprus compared to other countries.

The government aims to increase passenger traffic by 52% by 2027.

There are 145 air routes to and from Cyprus, plus seven new destinations were announced in the last week.

An upward trend in cruises to Cyprus has been registered, with bookings increasing from 9,000 in 2019 to 188,000 in 2022, while for 2023, there are calls for 207 cruise ship arrivals compared to 106 in 2019.

Larnaca’s port and marina €1.2 bln development are expected to generate government revenue of €120 mln annually and create 4,000 jobs.