The [South] Cyprus Tourism Organisation is holding an internal crisis meeting this morning, to assess the impact on the industry when Russian airline Transaero shuts down. The airline company is facing bankruptcy after Russian Prime Ministery Dmitry Medvedev gave it the green light. The tourist board will assess the impact on the South’s economy, a CTO source said.
Chairman of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents Dinos Kakouras, told CyBC state radio on Friday that Transaero was expected to transport 100,000 tourists from Russia up until the end of 2015.
Negotiations between Russia’s second largest carrier Transaero and Russian airline Aeroflot became deadlocked after the latter refused to consolidate with the debt-ridden airline, ‘Russia Today’, online news reported on Thursday.
Transaero flies to Larnaca and Paphos from 18 other airports in Russia which is Cyprus’s second largest source of incoming tourism. Hermes Airports, the company operating the two Cypriot airports was unavailable for a comment.
Akis Vavlitis, chairman of the Association of Cyprus Tourism Enterprises, a business group representing hotels, marinas, waterparks and other tourism related services, said that Transaero may affect Russian tour operator Biblio Globus’s operations, who has a 70% share in incoming tourism flows from Russia.
Vavlitis, who was also speaking on state radio CyBC, said that for the moment, Transaero will continue to carry out its flight programme and competitor Aeroflot has agreed to continue Transaero’s itinerary over the winter season, at an extra charge for passengers.
Meanwhile, the Russian federal aviation service has told Transaero to stop all ticket sales.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Transaero, which had a total of 1.6bn euros in debt in 2014 and saw its passenger numbers rise 2.7% in the first seven months of the year, was also affected by the slowdown of Russia’s economy.