Flights to Cyprus - Find Cheap Flights From the UK
Flights to Cyprus arrive at one of three airports on the island. If you’re flying into the Greek Republic of Cyprus then you will arrive at either Larnaca Cyprus or Paphos Cyprus International Airports. If you’re flying into the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus then you’ll arrive at Ercan airport (close to Nicosia). The South remains the most popular destination, but in recent years interest has grown in the North. Flights to Cyprus are expensive by European standards and the island has yet to open up to budget airlines. Holiday makers booking flights to Cyprus do not need a visa to travel.
When looking for a flight it's important to remember that the island is divided and that travel between the Greek South and Turkish North is only possible on a daily basis. Hence, you must have a good idea about exactly which attractions and resorts you want to see before setting off. The basic rule of thumb is that if you want a relaxing holiday: head north, while anyone who prefers their 'fun in the sun' to be more animated should head south. Southern Cyprus is much better connected with Europe as the North can still only be accessed via mainland Turkey (which means less competition and higher prices) although this looks set to change in the near future.
The South of Cyprus receives an estimated 4 million holidaymakers each year, the majority of whom arrive on package tours. As a result charter airlines such as Monarch, JMC and VirginSun account for the bulk of air traffic during the peak summer months. The two main carriers operating scheduled flights to Cyprus are British Airways and Cyprus Airways and you can occasionally pick up the odd cheap ticket. Ryanair, the low cost Irish airline has recently come on board and now offers flights to Larnaka in Southern Cyprus. A number of smaller operators, are also trying to get in on the act, Air2000 having limited flights servicing this destination.
Anyone flying from the UK into northern Cyprus will be routed via Turkey. The North has remained isolated since the events of 1974 and currently no international airline services the region. As a result the only two airlines operating are Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA) and Turkish Airlines. Travelling from the United Kingdom you’re likely to have to land in Turkey (either Ankara or Istanbul), which extends flight time from about five to seven hours.
Ercan Airport has reopened after extensive refurbishment, so travellers can expect a slicker service than in the past. The national carrier, Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA), has traditionally had a fairly dismal reputation, but there are murmurings that they have managed to pull their socks up. In bad weather flights are occasionally re-routed onto a nearby military airport so don’t panic if you pull into a rather sinister looking place on arrival.
If you are looking to land a bargain there are a number of avenues of enquiry open to you. First stop should be the Internet, which remains the primary source of last-minute bargains. The second place to visit is Teletext, where you'll find plenty of companies offering cheap scheduled flights and charter deals. It's also worth trawling the high-street travel agents to see what you can find (don't be afraid to negotiate and do some homework first by looking in the travel supplements of the Sunday newspapers). Scheduled airlines such as British Airways and Cyprus Airways occasionally offer promotional packages, which you'll find advertised well in advance. It might also work out cheaper to buy an entire package, rather than to just book a flight.