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23 January 2014

Cyprus is becoming a Regional Aviation Hub

Cyprus Government intends to actively promote Cyprus as a destination hub for businessmen and tourists connecting Europe with Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world. The Government, in cooperation with the airport operator Hermes introduced a program, which provides incentives and encourages air carriers to add extra capacity or new routes to Cyprus.

An important agreement has been recently signed with Israel for traffic rights resulting in an increased number of flights for high season and scheduled flights by the second Israeli air carrier EL-AL, in addition to the existing routes by air carrier ARKIA.

Significant developments have been achieved in the negotiations with the Russian Federation for full liberalisation of charter flights to Cyprus throughout the winter season. The number of carriers from Moscow and St. Petersburg has been increased from one to two and the restrictions on the operation of charter flights have been removed. It is expected that the development will induce the further growth of the tourist industry in Cyprus and extend the tourist season of the island.

An important agreement of “open skies” has been achieved with Ukraine removing any limits or restrictions on the number of carriers and frequency of the routes.  Ukraine is an important tourist partner of Cyprus with significant growth over the last years.

The existing bilateral agreements with other regions such as the Gulf and Middle East provide unrestricted 3rd and 4th freedom traffic rights. The Cyprus’ Ministry of Communications and Works has also approved code share agreements for a number of carriers in the region such as Etihad and Emirates.

In mid-January the European leading low-cost carrier Ryanair announced its summer 2014 schedule, including a new route to Athens from Paphos which will be operated daily from April 2014. The Germany’s second largest airline Air Berlin, also expanded its tourist destinations in the summer, including flights to Larnaca. Qatar Airways has announced the airline’s first flights to Larnaca International Airport starting from April 2014. The new route will be operated four times a week.

The Cyprus’ strategic geographic location, the modern international airports and excellent infrastructure, as well as the high quality of services are among the reasons of the island’s success as a preferred travel destination. Cyprus offers a wonderful environment with sunshine almost all over the year, beautiful sandy beaches, rich Cyprus cuisine, golf fields, marinas, water sports, as well as high quality standard of living. The above, combined with the favourable tax regime, contributed to the development of Cyprus as a well-known international business and financial center.

 

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