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More landings and available seats

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More landings and available seats

The spring that marks the March that we enter tomorrow Monday, causes, based on the planning of the airlines, expectations for the flowering of the passenger traffic.

From March, the available air seats for trips to Cyprus are doubled and then month by month the landings and take-offs at the two airports of the place will continue to increase, strengthening the estimates for a more bearable tourist year, compared to 2020. .

Speaking to “F”, the senior director of Aviation Development, Marketing and Communication of Hermes Airports, Maria Kouroupi, did not hide her optimism that this year will be better than last year, in terms of passenger traffic, meaning that there will be no going back to the epidemiological picture of Cyprus, but also to the markets from which our country receives visitors. In fact, he did not rule out that in 2021 it will close to almost half in relation to the passenger traffic of 2019, which was a record year for the two airports, which translates into more than five million arrivals and departures.

However, apart from the course of the pandemic and much more of the vaccination programs, a lot, as stated by the director of Aviation Development, Marketing and Communication of the management company of the two airports, will depend on us as well.

As he explained, after the announcement of the plan to reopen the airports and the resumption of flights based on the new categorization of countries, which enters into force tomorrow, March 1, the airlines have proceeded with their planning, without any adjustments, of course. He even mentioned that planning is a first-class opportunity for the development of new markets, since the flights that start in March and April concern smaller markets for the Cypriot tourism, but not small markets.

In both March and April, flights to and from Germany, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, France, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, ie countries from where there are individual travelers who book packages on their own. In this context, he stressed the need for the destination to “seem open”. “Unfortunately,” Kouroupi added, “the tourism and hotel industry seems to be waiting for the big markets, such as England and Russia, to reopen and is almost unaware that airlines are planning flights from smaller markets as well.”

Every month and better

The improvement of the passenger traffic, however, starts in March, but it will be gradual, as Mrs. Kouroupi admits. As he told us, in the third month of the year the available airline seats will be twice as much as in February, while in April they will be almost five times more than in the previous month and will amount to about 25% of the availability that existed in the same month. of 2019.

In May, the flights and consequently the available seats are estimated based on the planning of the airlines to reach about 40% of the flights of 2019, while in the next months -June and after- the percentage rises to 50% and reaches up to and 65%. Although the unlocking of the Russian market due to the small vaccination coverage in the country for the time being, as well as the non-licensing of the Russian vaccine in Europe so far remains difficult, nevertheless there are plans for increased flights with a substantial start in April. For the British market, he said that based on what was announced this week, a substantial increase in passenger traffic is expected from the end of May, but reiterated that Cyprus should not wait for England to start the engines. The bet, according to the CEO of Hermes Airports, is that there will be a demand for flights, something that requires action from all tourism partners.

On the part of Hermes Airports, the company declares its readiness to face the increased passenger traffic in the coming months in the base and the relevant protocols that exist to prevent the spread of the pandemic, as it is in constant contact with the relevant government agencies on this issue. space. There are sufficient spaces available to conduct the required examinations and there is also planning if there is a need to use other spaces.

Vaccination passports

Regarding the consultations that are taking place at European level for vaccination certificates, in order to facilitate vaccinated passengers, Ms. Kouroupi notes that such a development could speed up the travel movement somewhat, provided that there will be no ban for those who have not been vaccinated.

He cited, as an example, the interest that exists from Israel, on the occasion of the agreement made by Cyprus. However, as he said, possible benefits will be only in the short term and until the summer any “vaccination passports” will not play a significant role, since as vaccination programs progress it is estimated that most countries interested in Cyprus will ideally be in orange and green. category. He reminded that the new categorization excludes quarantine for almost 60 countries and that, for those who will be in the green category, in fact there will be no restrictions.

The scenario, as Ms. Kouroupi stated, remains fluid, however the existing planning allows a restrained optimism that there will be a gradual improvement of passenger traffic. However, based on the latest available data of the company, the year due to the restrictions that continue to exist throughout Europe and not only did not enter with the right, but with a new significant reduction in passenger traffic. Specifically, in January the number of passengers transported to and from both airports was reduced to 43,678, compared to 459,688 in January 2020 (-90.5%). We remind you that last year, passenger traffic … landed at 2,312,806 passengers, compared to 11,273,748 in 2019, recording a decrease of 79.5%.

Source: www.philenews.com

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