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Airport passenger traffic jumps 23%

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Cyprus airports in May came close to meeting pre-pandemic passenger traffic registered in the record-benchmark year of 2019.

According to data released by the Cyprus Statistical Service, Larnaca and Paphos airports, they had just 3.1% fewer passengers in May than in 2019, with over one million people passing through their gates.

Total passenger traffic in May reached 1.1 million, up from 884,600 in the same period last year, recording an increase of 23.7%.

Some 792,200 passengers travelled through the larger Larnaca airport, marking a 41% rise from 2022 and a 2.5% decrease compared to 2019.

At Paphos airport, 364,900 passengers were handled in May, up from 325,600 last year and 316,900 in 2019.

From January to May, air traffic reached 4.68 million from 2.47 million in the same five months of 2022 and 3.39 million in 2019.

Last year ended with 9.2 million passengers passing through Cyprus airports, approximately 82% of 2019 passenger traffic.

In 2019, passenger traffic rose to record levels of 11.3 million from 10.9 million in 2018.

In 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic and restrictive measures, passenger traffic fell to 2.3 million, while in 2021, it increased to 5 million due to the gradual lifting of measures.

Cyprus tourism stakeholders, including Hermes Airports, had set the bar for 2023 high, aiming to push arrivals beyond the levels of 2019, when Cyprus welcomed 3.97 million tourists.

Authorities have improved air connectivity, the driving force of the tourism upswing.

Compared to February 2019, more than a dozen new destinations were introduced, such as Paris, Prague, Rome, and Marseilles, replacing the loss of the markets of Russia and Ukraine due to the war.