Hermes Airports, the entity overseeing Cyprus' two international airports, reported a substantial surge in passenger traffic throughout 2023, reaching an impressive 11.6 million passengers by year-end.

This translates to an average of 32,000 passengers daily, spiking to 41,000 during the summer and maintaining a robust 18,000 during winter. Notably, this represents a 3% increase compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, showcasing the most outstanding performance ever recorded by Cyprus Airports.

Maria Kouroupi, Senior Manager of Aviation Development and Communication at Hermes Airports, highlighted the achievement, stating, "Despite challenges, we surpassed the 2019 record, setting a new benchmark for excellence."

The surge in passenger traffic and enhanced connectivity in Cyprus lay a stable foundation for the significant development of various economic sectors, according to Kouroupi. She added, "The country's connectivity is solid, and we approach 2024 with optimism."

Larnaca Airport played a pivotal role as a major hub, witnessing 8.1 million passengers, marking a remarkable 34% increase over 2022, with an average load factor of 81%. Simultaneously, Paphos Airport recorded 3.6 million passengers, showcasing a notable 12% upswing from the previous year and maintaining an impressive average load factor of 89%.

A total of 52 airlines operated across 159 routes to 39 countries from these two airports combined, contributing to the resurgence in tourism. The revival of connections with traditional strongholds, particularly the United Kingdom, and significant strides into other markets were key factors.

The tourism revival was evident in 28 markets, representing 66% of total passenger traffic, with notable increases from countries such as Poland, Italy, and Hungary. In an effort to enhance connectivity, 18 new destinations were introduced, strengthening ties with various countries, including Basil, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Naples.

Airline efforts to boost established markets included expanding the frequency of existing flight schedules, averaging an additional flight per week throughout 2023. Hermes Airports acknowledged the pivotal role of its airline incentive scheme, which has seen an investment exceeding 120 million euros over the past decade.

Targeted digital marketing campaigns were also conducted to position Cyprus as a premier tourist destination. A notable accomplishment for 2023 was the improvement of the winter flight schedule, aiming to position Cyprus as a year-round destination.

The winter season of 2023-2024 witnessed a remarkable 30% increase in available airline seats compared to the same period in 2019, equating to an average of 70 daily flights. Larnaca and Paphos airports are set to host 30 airlines flying to 35 countries and 102 destinations during this winter season, solidifying Cyprus' standing as a global tourist hotspot.