By KEREM HASAN
The development is one of several government initiatives to slash rocketing air fares seen as hampering tourism -- and comes as a government minister warned that travellers arriving via South Cyprus were “under threat” from its administration.
Tourism and Environment Minister Ünal Üstel, speaking to Cyprus Today from İstanbul where he was asking Turkish officials to scrap taxes, also in the hope of slashing air fares, said: “We are currently working on a programme for a visit to London where we hope to see British parliamentarians and peers to discuss what can be done to scrap the re-screening requirement of passengers flying to the UK from Ercan during touchdowns in Turkey.
“This . . . is causing a lot of time to be wasted and creating hardship for tourists and other travellers.”
Current prices for a one-week Ercan-London ticket, flying on August 10, were this week running at an equivalent of between £412 and £540 – just £214 less than a Lufthansa return flight between Heathrow and Melbourne.
The cheapest flight from Larnaca to London was £304.
Asked to comment on peak season Ercan flights coming in at more than £500, Mr Üstel said: “That is expensive. We have been speaking with my Turkish counterpart in Ankara and with Turkish Airlines officials, and have requested that airport taxes be scrapped in order to help reduce prices.”
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