Cyprus Airways new weekly Moscow-bound flights will not be on sale after the Russian authorities placed restrictions on the airline.
On November 30, 2020, Cyprus Airways announced that their planned service between Larnaca, Cyprus, and Moscow, Russia, would not start as planned. The airline said it was “arbitrarily limited or completely prohibited” to carry passengers to the Russian Federation by the country’s authorities.
Previously, the airline was planning to start operations from Larnaca to Moscow’s Domodedovo airport at the end of November 2020. However, flights from Moscow to Larnaca operate normally, according to the air carrier.
“We are extremely disappointed with the discrimination and unfair treatment of the Russian authorities against Cyprus Airways, taking into consideration that two Russian air carriers recently started operations on the route Moscow-Larnaca-Moscow without having similar restrictions by the Russian authorities,” chief operations officer at Cyprus Airways George Mavrocostas is cited in the company’s statement. “This violates the principle of equal treatment underlining the bilateral air services agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation”.
The airline is relying on Cyprus government’s support, saying that the opportunities to carry passengers for each side need to be fairly and equally protected.
The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Yiannis Karousos said that “the government will do everything possible, even at the highest level, if necessary, in order to solve this issue,” the Cyprus News Agency reported.Karousos added that such restrictions might be related to the prevention of COVID-19 spread in Russian Federation.
After the incident arose, Russian authorities were asked to explain the situation. On December 1, 2020, the Russian embassy in Cyprus on its social media account informed the public that “we are doing our best to solve the Cyprus Airways issue in coordination with authorities in Moscow.”