ECONOMY

Airlines attack Cypriot government for Larnaca’s ‘non-existent’ facilities

NICOSIA (AP) – Airlines have blasted the Cypriot government for the poor conditions at Larnaca Airport, saying that facilities for transit passengers are non-existent. The Board of Airline Representatives in Cyprus said the airport had reached the limits of its capacities and could not cope with increasing traffic. Larnaca Airport is the main port of entry to Cyprus, handling more than 10 million passengers a year, 6 million being tourists. Travelers frequently complain, particularly during the summer tourist season when hundreds of passengers can wait for hours inside the small terminal building, often sitting on the floor for lack of seats. Despite the fact that as an association we have repeatedly asked the Civil Aviation Department for some coordination in the areas of arrivals, departures and fixing of priorities in various services, supervision of services remains non-existent, the airlines said in a statement. The Ministry of Communications made no comment on the airlines’ statement yesterday. The airlines accused the government of focusing on plans for a new international airport at Larnaca. In reality, the existing airport terminal has been abandoned, with the result that the problems not only remain, but increase constantly, the airlines said. The airlines said that owing to Cyprus’s geographic position, Larnaca could have become the main airport for the region, but this is frustrated by the non-existent passenger transit facilities, including suitable waiting rooms and luggage handling. Earlier this year, the government announced its intention to seek an independent private investor to operate a proposed new airport at Larnaca. Trade unions oppose the scheme, demanding that the government operate the new facility as well.