Routes Reconnected: Cyprus saw 11 million passengers in 2019 as it prepares to welcome more
Larnaka and Pafos collectively passed 11 million passengers in 2019, the pair’s highest-ever volume. Both airports are operated by Hermes.
With over three million passengers, Pafos’ traffic nearly doubled since the start of the decade, while Larnaka grew by a very strong CAGR of 9.1% since 2015.
And despite coronavirus, Wizz Air added a new base at Larnaka in 2020 with three aircraft and 16 new routes. The carrier now has 38 destinations available for booking from the airport, including a twice-weekly service to Abu Dhabi that starts in January.
Wizz Air’s new base has given optimism. “We are confident that the industry will recover and we are ready to welcome back all our airlines as well as new ones,” Maria Kouroupi, Senior Manager Aviation Development, Marketing and Communication, Hermes Airports, told us.
And Kouroupi is keen to further develop Cyprus’ network. “Paris remains unserved from Charles De Gaulle and Orly, while Bordeaux and Nice have good potential for a new operation.”
“Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, and Hanover have scope for additional service, while Italy and Spain demonstrate significant potential as Rome, Madrid and Barcelona remain unserved.
“Other important underserved routes are Milan, Brussels, and Amsterdam, while Tbilisi, Minsk, and St Petersburg are good opportunities in the East.”
Larnaka highly commended in Best Airport Awards 2020
But it’s not just from Wizz Air’s new base that Tsolias’ confidence arises. “Larnaka was highly commended in the 5-10 million passengers category at ACI Europe’s Best Airport Awards 2020.”
“This acknowledgment is important during such difficult times. It motivates us to continue our efforts in the years to come, not only to regain passenger demand but to further enhance and upgrade the services offered to those travelling through our airports.”
Key in this is increasing confidence. “Through collective work with the state authorities and the entire airport community, we have created a safe airport environment for both passengers and staff,” Kouroupi stated.
“Both Larnaka and Pafos have been recognised with Airport Health Accreditation. This is based on the new health measures and procedures introduced as a result of the pandemic.”
Cyprus revolves around tourism. “Cyprus is a safe destination that’s still in demand and it’s one that offers a more authentic and relaxed experience.”
“Once this is all behind us, we are optimistic that the 11 million passengers record will be surpassed.”