Russian authorities have banned Cyprus Airways flights
On 30 November 2020, Cyprus Airways announced that the planned route between Larnaca (Cyprus) and Moscow (Russia) would not start as planned. Cypriot airline says it is "arbitrarily banned" by Russian authorities
Prior to this announcement, Cyprus Airways intended to begin operations from Larnaca to Moscow's Domodedovo Airport. However, flights from Moscow to Larnaca are normally operated by other airlines, according to a Cyprus Airways official.
"We are extremely disappointed with the discrimination and unfair treatment of the Russian authorities against Cyprus Airways, given that two Russian air carriers have recently started operations on the Moscow-Larnaca-Moscow route without similar restrictions.", said Cyprus Airways chief of operations George Mavrocostas. "This violates the principle of equal treatment under the bilateral air services agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation.".
Cyprus Airways relies on the support of the Cypriot government, saying that opportunities to carry passengers in both directions must be protected in a fair and equal manner.
The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Yiannis Karousos, said that "the government will do everything possible, even at the highest level, if necessary, to solve this problem," the Cyprus News Agency reported. Karousos added that such restrictions could be linked to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the Russian Federation.
After the incident, the 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 everything possible to resolve the Cyprus Airways issue in coordination with the Moscow authorities."