RYANAIR sets us Paphos hub

RYANAIR yesterday announced it would base two aircraft at Paphos, offering 80 flights a week to 14 new destinations as of April by investing nearly €110 million to bring in 600,000 passengers a year and provide 600 jobs.

Patra, Chania, Frankfurt Hahn, Kaunus, Krakow, London-Stansted, Memmingen, Bergamo, Oslo, Pisa, Rome, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and Treviso are the 14 new destinations. The routes are available for booking as of today on www.ryanair.com.

The low-cost carrier will be the first airline to take advantage of the  government’s new incentives to boost tourism, which includes a substantial drop in landing fees.

“This is a watershed, a turning point in aviation and tourism for Cyprus,” said Michael Cawley, Ryanair’s deputy chief told a news conference in Nicosia yesterday.

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) head Alecos Orountiotis called it “a significant day” in Cypriot tourism. “We hope that the development with this specific airline will be the first step and that new interest will be shown from other airlines so we have the potential to open new markets for Cypriot tourism and expand tourist traffic to the island,” said Orountiotis.

Paphos Mayor Savvas Vergas extended his welcome and thanks to the airline along with representatives from the Cyprus Hotels Association and the Paphos Chamber of Commerce and its Tourist Board, which also praised  Ryanair, and the government for their initiatives.