Ryanair suspends Larnaca winter schedule

Holidaymakers thinking of booking a Ryanair flight to catch some sunshine at timeshare resorts near Larnaca in Cyprus this winter will now have to find other ways to reach their destination.

The airline is suspending its Larnaca winter schedule following discussions about financial support from Cyprus’s tourist authorities.
Ryanair has announced cuts to flights and routes to mainland Spain, Morocco and the Canaries Islands in recent weeks and the Larnaca cancellations will be withdrawn from this October until March 2013.

Cyprus Weekly reports that the low-cost airline had told the paper last Friday that its Larnaca flights would be suspended for the full winter period, but commence operations again in March.

However, Cyprus Tourism Organisation chairman Alecos Oroundiotis told 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.”

Ryanair reported losses recently and among the reasons given for the suspension of flights to and from Larnaca are increased fuel costs, the recession in Europe and “decreasing yield”. However the Irish airline will be keeping up its Paphos services to London Stansted, Milan Bergamo, Thessaloniki on mainland Greece and Chania in Crete.

Ryanair expects to fly 105,000 passengers to and from Larnaca this year compared to 425,000 from Paphos and although inconvenient, the cancelled winter schedule to Larnaca should not make too serious an impact on Cyprus’s tourist figures for the winter 2012/13 season. EasyJet services Larnaca from London Gatwick.

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