CYPRUS: Passenger flies to Paphos, EasyJet sends luggage to Ercan

A passenger travelling to Paphos from the USA was shocked to find that her lost luggage had been sent to Ercan (Tymbou) airport in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.

Popular Greek Cypriot Actress Paola Hadjilambri was shocked to receive a call from Ercan airport to say that her luggage had found its way to the illegal airport in Tymbou, after reporting that her luggage did not make it to Paphos airport.

Hadjilambri travelled with United Airlines from Newark to Berlin, where she boarded an EasyJet flight to Budapest and from there hopped on a Ryanair flight to Paphos. However, her luggage never arrived at Paphos Airport.

After the actress made enquiries over her lost luggage, she discovered it was left behind at Berlin airport.

Paphos airport officials had requested EasyJet to fly the luggage to Cyprus with one of their weekly flights to Larnaca or Paphos.

EasyJet officials contacted the passenger and explained that they would send her luggage as soon as possible, taking note of her address, postal code and other relevant information.

Hadjilambri told them that if sending the luggage to Paphos would be a problem, she was willing to collect it from Larnaca Airport.

She was surprised when she received a call on her mobile phone from a Turkish number, with the voice on the other end informing her politely that her bag was at Ercan Airport and was asked to go and collect it.

Hadjilambri without registering that her luggage was sent to the airport in the occupied north, asked where the airport was, to be told by the voice it is in northern Cyprus.

She was informed her bag had arrived at the airport via Istanbul on a Turkish Airlines flight.

According to Phileleftheros daily, EasyJet officials told the paper they had given instructions to local handlers for the luggage to be sent to Cyprus on the first available flight which was to Ercan Airport via Istanbul.

The Cyprus government consider the airport at Tymbou to be an illegal point of entry to the country.

The Transport Ministry announced that Cyprus Civil Aviation authorities cannot in any way interfere with the process of handling and dispatching luggage from other countries to the Republic of Cyprus.

According to existing information, the luggage was brought to the illegal airport in Tymbou by Turkish Airlines, following the arrangements made by the airline with which the passenger was travelling.

The Department of Civil Aviation has sent a letter of protest to the air carrier, requesting further investigation into the matter so as not to repeat a similar incident in the future, stressing that such actions violate European and international regulations.

It should be noted that all internationally recognised airlines, except Turkish air carriers, do not operate scheduled flights to the illegal airport in Tymbou.

Source: The Financial Mirror