Passenger traffic in Cyprus in 2022 is expected to exceed 7 million, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Yiannis Karousos has said, adding that the arrival of passengers has increased by 50% compared to 2021.
Addressing a conference on "State Measures to Support Entrepreneurship and Financing Opportunities" held on Tuesday evening in Ayia Napa, the Minister said that for 2022 passenger traffic in Cyprus was estimated at about 9 million passengers, however the number fell to 7.5 million after the Russian invasion in Ukraine. He also noted that passenger arrivals have increased by 50% compared to 2021.
He went on to say that flights to major tourist markets such as Germany, with 42 flights per week, Austria with 26 flights per week, Poland with 25, France with 20, Switzerland with 17, have increased or stayed at the same levels. As he said there were also 50% more seats compared to 2021 and the goal was for the average plane capacity to rise above 70%.
Karousos noted that the government took steps to increase air connectivity and to enhance the sector for a smooth recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
He pointed out that Cyprus had the smallest drop in direct air connectivity throughout Europe despite the pandemic and in 2021 the country has added 158 destinations from 150 it had in 2019. Karousos also noted that an Incentive Plan was offered to airlines to deal with the effects of the pandemic, while the plan was extended until the end of June 2022, with a total cost of 6.13 million euros.
As the Minister said there are now flights available at convenient times for airports such as central Brussels, Paris, Marseilles, Lyons, Toulouse and Strasbourg. He added that connectivity with France has also been strengthened as there are flights to five cities in the country.