Small Planet Airlines boss excited about Cyprus “opportunities”
Andreas Wobig, CEO at Small Planet Airlines GmbH talks exclusively to Cyprus Traveller, revealing how the carrier is aiming to bring more German, Swiss and Scandinavian tourists to the island than ever before.
CT: Firstly, between which destinations does Small Planet Airlines fly to and from Cyprus?
Andreas: Small Planet Airlines is currently operating a full flight programme between Larnaka and Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia from April 2016 until early November 2017. The flights are scheduled as follows:
– Monday: Scandinavia; including Bergen, Gothenburg or Oslo
– Tuesday: Stuttgart, Leipzig
– Friday: Munich, Leipzig;
– Saturday: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt
– Sunday: Basel, Hamburg
All flight frequencies are once per day (for example, Larnaka–Munich–Larnaka) for all our routes to and from Cyprus.
CT: How did Small Planet Airlines services to Cyprus grow over time?
Andreas: Small Planet Airlines GmbH has always been in close contact with Hermes Airports and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
The [state-owned] Cyprus Airways demise has created an opportunity, especially for many German airports which were missing additional frequencies or non-stop connections to Larnaka. The lack of non-stop connections was particularly obvious for major markets such as Hamburg or Dusseldorf.
The only possibility to service such an extensive programme was by positioning an aircraft at Larnaka International Airport. This allowed us to build an operation on the island by hiring local staff and expanding the flight programme through offering additional frequencies and connecting Cyprus with more destinations across Europe.
We are hiring!
Currently actively looking for Experienced Cabin Crew members in Cyprus,… https://t.co/rNkjaUkeZr
— Small Planet (@SmallPlanetAir) October 13, 2016
Already this season, Small Planet Airlines expects to carry close to 50,000 passengers to Cyprus, with 40,000 coming from Germany.
In 2018, the airline will again be a key player for the German market which will most likely be able to surpass the record 200,000 German tourists who visited Cyprus in 2000.
CT: Why should travellers flying to Cyprus choose Small Planet Airlines for their trip?
Andreas: Small Planet Airlines GmbH is an experienced holiday carrier working with major travel and tour operators across Europe. For Cyprus, most well-known tour operators are consolidated; such as FTI Touristik, Thomas Cook NL, and DER Touristik for Germany and Switzerland, and TUI Nordic for Scandinavia.
Our aircraft at Larnaka Airport, like most our fleet, had a full cabin retrofit last year, and is also equipped with our ‘Air-Fi’ system which allows to stream content onto a passenger’s device.
CT: Why do you believe Cyprus is a great all-year-round destination for your passengers to visit?
Andreas: Small Planet Airlines GmbH seriously believes in the island’s potential. In the upcoming years, we expect the flight plan to extend into the off-season. However, this requires a strong partnership with tour operators.
A broad array of off-season activities which are available in Cyprus is a good starting point to promote seasons which are currently not as popular as the summer. This new mentality cannot be achieved overnight.
CT: Are there any upcoming developments that travellers and the Cyprus tourism industry can expect from Small Planet Airlines?
Andreas: Opening our Larnaka base is within the overall growth strategy of the Small Planet Group (SPG) and Small Planet Airlines GmbH. After launching last year, the SPG subsidiary is doubling its aircraft numbers every year – a trend which is likely to repeat itself for 2018.
A part of this success story is the consolidation of the German touristic market into Cyprus.