Flight Cancelations Mean Cyprus Can’t Send Some International Mail

The Mediterranean island-nation of Cyprus cannot offer postal service to some 22 countries due to COVID-19-related flight cancelations. Its national mail service can’t find air carriers for deliveries and pickups, meaning that the sending and receiving of critical documents and parcels will be put on hold until further notice. The announcement of this mail service cutback was made on November 25th.

Cyprus A319
Cyprus Airways and its lone A319 is based at the Larnaca International Airport. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Countries affected by mail stoppage

On its website, Cyprus Post on November 25th listed the 22 countries that it would not be accepting mail for, “due to the impossibility of finding [an] air carrier for the transport of mail…” The countries are as follows:

  1. Aerolineas Argentinas Plans Nonstop Airbus A330 Flights To Cyprus
  2. Belgium
  3. Bosnia
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Estonia
  6. Croatia
  7. Belarus
  8. Letonia
  9. Lithuania
  10. Luxemburg
  11. Malta
  12. Mexico
  13. Moldavia
  14. Norway
  15. Hungary
  16. Ukraine
  17. Poland
  18. Portugal
  19. Romania
  20. Slovakia
  21. Slovenia
  22. Finland

The postal service also reassured its customers that efforts are being made to restore service as soon as possible:

“We are making every possible effort to add more destinations, which will be announced as soon as this will be feasible. International premium courier service…is offered to most destinations worldwide, for express items.” -Cyprus Post

Larnaca Airport
Activity at Cypriot airports has greatly reduced as the country experiences a second, much larger wave of the virus. Photo: Getty Images

Cyprus Post adds that for other countries not on the list, delays will be observed in the handling, transportation, and delivery at the final destination for all postal services.

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Not the first time

This is not the first time mail service to and from the Mediterranean country has been affected. In fact, mail service to Ukraine has been suspended since November 11th. In mid-March, Cyprus Post had even suspended postal service to and from all countries except for Greece. In the months following, many countries were added back to the list as Cyprus opened back up again.

Unfortunately, the country is experiencing a second and much more intense wave of the coronavirus, logging over 200 new infections per day in recent times. For reference, the country’s worst day during the first wave saw just under 60 new cases.

Airmail often travels in the cargo holds of scheduled passenger flights. Photo: Getty Images

The critical role of passenger flights in transporting mail

“Almost 328 billion letters and 7.4 billion parcels are sent every year and airmail plays an essential role in their delivery. While electronic communications caused a decrease in the number of letters sent, more and more parcels are delivered daily thanks to e-commerce.” -IATA

For those unaware, regularly scheduled passenger flights play a critical role in the transportation of mail all around the world. This is because items sent by regular post travel in the cargo holds of these flights. Thus, the suspension of these flights, especially for a small and somewhat remote nation (cut-off by water) like Cyprus, has a huge knock-on effect for other parts of its society and economy.

Have you experienced any changes to your postal activity due to COVID-19? Share your experience in the comments.