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Cyprus requests increase in flight frequencies with Israel

Cyprus’ Minister of Transport Marios Demetriades has raised the issue of flight frequencies increase with Israel due to increased demand by airline companies.

The issue was raised during a meeting between Demetriades and his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. The trip was organised by Tus Airways which carries out daily scheduled flights from Larnaca International Airport to Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv.

Flight frequencies are governed by the EU-Israel comprehensive aviation agreement, which stipulates the gradual lifting of restrictions on flight frequencies until the full liberalization of the market by 2018. Currently four airlines carry out 24 of the 30 flights connecting Cyprus and Israel, while flight frequencies are projected to increase to 37 in the period of 2017-2018. However Nicosia, was to expedite this increase to higher demand.

“While flight liberalization is implemented gradually, we request an increase in some flights if possible due to increased demand from airline companies,” Demetriades told CNA, adding that the Israeli authorities committed to look into the issue.

Recalling that four airlines, two Cypriot and two Israeli, carry out flights connecting Cyprus and Israel, Demetriades said we expect that flights to and from Israel will increase, connecting Larnaca both with Tel Aviv and Haifa.

“We believe that this is very important because we had a huge increase in tourist arrivals from Israel and Israel could develop into one of the most important tourist markets for Cyprus,” the Cypriot Minister noted.

Furthermore, Demetriades praised the relations between the two countries as very good, adding that these ties cover many fields.

Demetriades and Katz discussed issues concerning transport, cooperation in European projects, the mutual recognition of driving licenses, as well as issues concerning road safety.

In his stay in Israel, Demetriades also visited Jerusalem where he met with local authoritiy officials who presented the light rail project and the city`s road traffic master plan.

“This was a very constructive visit and I believe we could lean a lot from Israel,” Demetriades concluded.

The Cypriot Minister was accompanied by the Ministry`s Permanent Secretary Alecos Michaelides, Department of Civil Aviation Director Nicos Nicolaou, head of the Minister`s office Niki Santamas, Cyprus` Ambassador to Israel Thessalia Salina Shambos, and tourist attache to Israel Luiza Varaclas.

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