Cyprus airports are ready to welcome thousands of passengers and an increased number of flights as of mid-May, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said Wednesday.
Karousos said that many changes have taken place since last year to make passengers’ boarding easier, expedite processes and controls and improving the Cyprus flight pass. For instance, Karousos said, a flight which arrived at Larnaca Airport on Sunday carrying 112 passengers was able to go through the covid-19 tests procedure in an average of 11 seconds per passenger.
By the end of March, flight arrivals will increase to 160 per week compared to the 50-60 flights currently arriving weekly, while the number is expected to rise to 240 in April, the Transport Minister said.
Increased tourists flows are expected in mid-May, since March and April are considered pilot months “enabling us to see if all protocols are functioning properly”.
Karousos said Israel and several Arab countries, as well as certain airlines, have shown interest in boosting their presence in Larnaca through increased numbers of planes and flights, as the island’s protocol provides passengers and airlines with stability.
He added that Cyprus will also be boosting the number of flights to EU countries that the island wasn’t sufficiently connected to before such as France.
Karousos said Cyprus supports the Green Certificate facilitating safe and free movement across the EU amid the pandemic, noting the matter needs to be resolved by June.
While Karousos said tourists from the UK are expected to begin flying in after mid-May, when the Britain will likely lift its ban on non-essential travel, for which a hefty £5,000 fine is set to be passed into legislation.