Flying to Cyprus
With Thomas Cook all over the news at the moment, for all the wrong reasons, my thoughts on flying to Cyprus.
Flying from the UK to Cyprus is going to take about four and a half hours. Those used to the two hours or so flight time to Spain, the Canaries and Italy may have a surprise.
It is worth recalling that Cyprus lies at the Eastern End of the Mediterranean Sea. The East-West distance is about 2,500 miles. Flying from the UK most airlines route down through Europe passing over France. Onwards over the Italian Alps and down to Greece. I love looking out of the aircraft window and identifying the places that we over-fly. Thessaloniki in Greece, a coastal resort is a particular favourite. Possible because I would like to visit there one day.
The approach into Cyprus is signalled by the slowing of the aircraft engines and then a gliding descent. This happens long before the island comes into view!
Cyprus has two main airports
There are two main airports on the island within the Greek controlled airspace. These are at Larnaca and Paphos. A glance at a map of the island shows how far apart they are. The closest airport to Villa Carpe Diem is Larnaca. It is about thirty minutes by car. Whereas Paphos airport is a little over sixty minutes by car. The difference in these times is worth bearing in mind after you have had a long flight.
The majority of people flying to Cyprus that we see at the villa arrive with BA (British Airways) or EasyJet. Some used to use Monarch, renowned for their generous luggage allowances. Others, flying from the West Country out of Exeter airport use Thomson, now part of Tui.
Thomas Cook has had a strong presence on Cyprus. We would frequently see their staff busy at the airport ensuring to guests get to their chosen hotel. The same staff would be around at the departures lounge to assist people travelling home.
It will be sad to see the demise of Thomas Cook if a funding package cannot be agreed. Let’s hope someone comes forward to save the firm and thereby the holiday dreams of many travellers.
Sadly it seems that this may not happen. Just as we were about to publish this story it was revealed that the Thomas Cook Group will meet its biggest shareholder and creditors on Sunday morning. A final attempt is to be made to piece together a rescue deal before the 178-year-old company collapses into insolvency.