Cyprus Airways reschedules Beirut flights over Syria concerns
August 30, 2013 - 2:04:19 pm
NICOSIA: National carrier Cyprus Airways said on Friday it was rescheduling the time of its daily Beirut flight from the evening to the morning due to security concerns linked to a possible US-led strike on Syria.
The state-owned airline clarified it was not cancelling its six-times-a-week Larnaca-Beirut flights but only changing departure times.
"The hour of departure from Larnaca has been moved to the morning at 05.15 instead of 20.30 at night," said a Cyprus Airways statement.
"The change was deemed necessary so the aircraft would not remain parked at Beirut airport overnight. Similar arrangements have been carried out by other airlines," it added.
Cyprus Airways operates daily flights to and from nearby Lebanon, except on Wednesdays.
Britain has deployed six RAF Typhoon jets to its base at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus as a precautionary measure to protect its assets on the island.
The Nicosia government has said it doesn't believe British military bases in Cyprus will play a lead role in any international offensive against Syria.
However, it said it is prepared for the eventuality of receiving thousands of foreign nationals mainly from Lebanon fleeing an escalation of violence in Syria.
In summer of 2006 Cyprus became a safe haven for nearly 40,000 foreign nationals who fled Lebanon during an Israeli bombing campaign against Shiite movement Hezbollah.
It was the biggest evacuation by sea seen since WWII. (AFP)