There was a significant increase in the number of passengers processed through Larnaka and Pafos airports and a further boost to Cyprus’ connectivity, with the entrance of new airlines and the introduction of new routes, according to Hermes Airports’ official data for 2016.
More specifically, a total of 8,974,163 passengers travelled through the airports in 2016, 1,365,000 more than in 2015, recording an 18% increase. There was a 24.5% rise at Larnaka airport and 2.6% at Pafos airport. According to Hermes Airports’ data, the most important hikes were recorded by the markets of Russia (+47%), the United Kingdom (+13%), Greece (+14.5%) and Israel (+47%).
Moreover, the Cypriot airports’ network was further enhanced by the operation of 10 new airlines and the introduction of 21 new routes, thus boosting the island’s connectivity. The new airlines, Cobalt Air, Pobeda, TUS Airways, Ellinair, Air Berlin, Azur Air, Yan Air, Wind Rose, Alitalia and Israir, carried some 428,000 passengers, while an increase in the number of flights to existing routes led to an additional 919,000 passengers.
Commenting on the numbers, Hermes Airports’ Chief Executive Officer Eleni Kaloyirou said that 2016 ended on a high note. These results, she noted, “have a direct positive impact on Cyprus’ economy and tourism”. She stressed, however, that “they do not allow for complacency” and that “the coordinated efforts by Hermes as well as other tourism stakeholders must continue and intensify”. If this is the case, Kaloyirou estimated that this upward trend will continue in 2017.