Tourism boss Costas Koumis has welcomed increased air connectivity with its biggest market, the UK after British Airways and EasyJet announced plans to expand their flight schedule to Cyprus.
EasyJet announced two new routes to Larnaca Airport, connecting Belfast and Glasgow, while British Airways extended the duration of flights from Larnaca to Gatwick year-round.
Low-cost airline easyJet will operate flights connecting Belfast and Glasgow to Larnaca from May 2 2024, every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.
Flights to and from Glasgow will begin on May 4, but no timetable was specified.
The news of British Airways’ decision to transition the Gatwick – Larnaca routes into a full-time service was disclosed on the social media platform ‘X’ by the Ministry of Tourism.
Talking from London, following the World Travel Market (WTM), Koumis welcomed the news, noting that the expansion of schedules by the two tourism giants is an example of “what we are aiming for with our presence at the exhibition”.
Koumis said Cyprus can feel proud of its presence at the London WTM exhibition, accommodating more than 55 exhibitors.
He said that more good news is expected in the coming weeks; tour operators will be announcing plans to expand their flight schedule to the island.
Koumis also met airlines to discuss the prospects and challenges of the market, with the ultimate goal of further developing tourist flows to Cyprus in 2024.
Until September, airport traffic had reached 9.1 million, slightly down from 9.2 million in 2022 and significantly below the 11.3 million in 2019.
The figures are before the war in Israel broke out on October 7, thus not including arrivals feeling the effects of the Gaza crisis and Israelis returning home.
Cyprus has been working on introducing schedules for key destinations for which it does not have direct flights, such as Brussels.
In October, the government approved a €165 mln incentive plan for airlines for 2023-2027 to carry up to 13.7 million passengers.