Some 9.2 million passengers went through the Larnaca and Paphos airports last year, with traffic reaching 82% of the record-breaking 2019.
In comments to Cyprus News Agency, Hermes Airports senior manager Maria Kouroupi said the year closed with a substantial increase in traffic compared to the previous coronavirus-struck years.
“Despite the challenges we had to face, such as the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with the suspension of flights from the two countries, and the lack of staff observed at airlines and ground handling companies, we managed to achieve a substantial recovery of passenger traffic,” Kouroupi said.
She added that stakeholders were able to boost Cyprus’ connectivity and lay the foundations for a stable upward trajectory.
“In 2022, we had flights from 50 airlines in 38 countries and 140 routes”.
The most popular destinations in 2022 were the United Kingdom, Greece, Israel, Germany, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, and Romania.
She attributed the increase to continuous communication with airlines, stakeholders, and state incentive plans.
“Improving the attractiveness of Cyprus and strengthening our connectivity as an island are strategic goals of Hermes Airports, for the implementation of which we work closely with the rest of the tourism stakeholders.
For 2023 “if there is no setback with the pandemic, we remain optimistic as the messages we receive are encouraging”.
“The airlines have drawn up an ambitious program with many new destinations, but also strengthening existing routes, something which the new incentive plan for airlines has been a catalyst.”
According to Hermes’ website, airport traffic increased to 5.1 million passengers in 2021 from 2.3 million during the coronavirus in 2020.
The record for passenger traffic was recorded in 2019 when 11.2 million passengers used Larnaca and Paphos airports.
And 2019 was a record year for tourism when 3.97 million tourists travelled to Cyprus.