After 18 challenging months due to the pandemic, and with traffic reaching its lowest point, the last few months demonstrate a substantial recovery which bears hopeful messages for a stable upturn, with the hope that the worst is behind us.
Since the beginning of the pandemic – and during the various lockdowns- at Hermes Airports we have maintained an ongoing and vital communication with the airlines as well as the tourism stakeholders, as air connectivity for an island such as Cyprus is pivotal. Our goal was -and still is- to be collectively proactive instead of reactive, and we acted based on this mindset, to be prepared in all aspects, for the recovery of traffic. It is noteworthy that this summer, despite the ongoing hesitation to travel from a significant portion of the public internationally, 50 airlines operated flights from Cyprus, out of the 70 which were operating flights in 2019, while most of them will continue to operate flights to our country during the winter months.
Stable increase during summer ‘21
The results of the first 8 months of 2021 show that we still have a long way to cover until we reach the pre-pandemic levels, as passenger traffic for the specific period was at 2,511,239, which corresponds to 33% of 2019 (for the respective period). Nonetheless, the performance of the summer period shows more optimistic trends as during August alone, passenger traffic reached 867,104 passengers, approximately 60% of 2019, while in June and July we had 440,944 and 772,136 passengers respectively. Indicative is the fact that last August passenger traffic did not exceed 296,266 (Larnaka Airport: 221,791/ Pafos Airport: 74,475).
It is also useful to observe how the travel map to and from Cyprus is shaped, as despite the consequences of the pandemic which has dramatically affected travels on an international level, there are trends worth observing. This year, contrary to previous ones, we had the opportunity to access a huge volume of data from the Cyprus Flight Pass which facilitate a qualitative analysis in real numbers, something which was previously done through a passenger survey. We analyzed the Cyprus Flight Pass data for the period 25 May – 22 August, which have allowed a profile of the passenger traffic with useful information that we would like to share with the media and tourism stakeholders.
For the specific period, we processed more than 1 million unique data from the Cyprus Flight Pass, and we would like to thank the Ministry of Transport for granting us access to them, taking into consideration some weaknesses in the data calibration from the platform. Through the below analysis and graphs, we attempt to shape a profile of the arriving and departing passengers for the summer traffic correlating parameters such as countries of origin, airlines, city of stay and types of accommodation.