Cyprus Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios denied press reports, suggesting that charter flights from Russia have been cancelled, noting that Russian tour operators were forced to postpone until July flights scheduled at their own initiative for June. The reason for the postponement is that no chartered flights from Russia to Cyprus are allowed due to Covid restrictions.
Furthermore, speaking to the press following a Cabinet meeting, Perdios said that there are positive signs that Cyprus will be included in the UK’s green list for international travel, while Cyprus will be among a list of four to five countries to which the Russian authorities are expected to allow chartered flights. The UK and Russia are Cyprus’ biggest tourist markets.
Commenting on the press reports over the cancellation of chartered flights from Russia, Perdios said that no chartered flights from Russia were held in 2021, while so far only scheduled flights were carried out.
“Therefore, these are not flights that were lost, it was a programming by the Russian tour operators and air carriers that has been rescheduled for July” he said.
Perdios, who recently traveled to the UK and Russia to convey Cyprus’ improved epidemiological picture, said that the Russian authorities await the increase of vaccinations of Russian citizens before allowing international travelling for tourist reasons worldwide.
“But they are receptive to the idea to allow holiday trips to a small number of countries and I believe that Cyprus is seriously considered and our job in the coming weeks is to convince that we could be included in this list,” he said.
Furthermore, he noted that Russian tour operators were privately planning to carry out about 500 chartered flights to Cyprus, while the British operators were more cautious awaiting official decisions by the British authorities.
“This provides an image over the intentions and the interest and there is huge interest by both the British and the Russians (for holidays in Cyprus),” he said, stressing that is not up to the Cypriot authorities to decide the way developments unfold.
Concerning the UK, Perdios reiterated that the authorities are very cautious of the percentage of the population that received their second jab dose as well as the Indian Covid mutation, while he recalled that a few days ago the authorities removed Portugal from the green travel list.
He also stressed that the British view Cyprus’ improved Covid epidemiological situation positively, adding that they await data concerning infections with the Indian mutation which are very small.
“I believe that if our epidemiological situation continues to improve and provided that we don’t find infections with the Indian covid mutation, the chances for Cyprus to enter the green list in the coming weeks are good,” he added.