Ryanair has decided to suspend its winter flying out of Larnaca in Cyprus amid ongoing discussions about continuing support for the budget carrier and the island’s tourism chiefs.
Cyprus Weekly reported on Friday that the low-cost airline had confirmed to it that Larnaca flights would be suspended from October until March next year.
The reasons cited were increased fuel costs, the recession in Europe and decreasing yield. Ryanair will continue flying its Paphos services to London Stansted, Milan Bergamo, Thessaloniki and Chania.
Last week Travel Weekly reported Cyprus was the latest destination under pressure from Ryanair to increase its support after a series of recent withdrawals from destinations not prepared to maintain the level of financial backing for routes.
Although reports in Cyprus last week claimed Ryanair was demanding more support in the form of marketing cash and the scrapping of landing fees, this was said not to be the reason for suspending the Larnaca winter schedule.
Cyprus Tourism Organisation chairman Alecos Oroundiotis told the Cyprus Weekly: “No question of funding was raised as the CTO does not fund Ryanair or any other airline.
“What we do have are cooperation agreements where we assist Ryanair with advertising in the markets it flies to and in the media.”
The decision to suspend the winter flights was not expected to significantly hit tourism in the destination, with the Cyrpus Travel Agents Association estimating it would account for 10,000 to 12,000 visitors during the period.
In total Ryanair is expected to carry 105,000 people to and from Larnaca this year compared to 425,000 from Paphos.
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