Country Listing

Cyprus Table of Contents




Figure 9. Transportation System, 1990

The transportation system in the government-controlled area was well developed (see fig. 9). The road network was satisfactory for passenger and freight traffic. In 1989 the government-controlled area had 9,824 kilometers of roads, of which 5,240 kilometers were asphalted or tarred and 4,584 kilometers were dirt or gravel. An expressway linked the major port town of Limassol with the capital, and in 1990 work was underway on a highway to Paphos and Larnaca from this road. There were no railroads in Cyprus.

At the time of the Turkish invasion, the country's main airport was the Nicosia International Airport. It was closed after the Turkish invasion of 1974, however, because it was located on the Attila Line that divided the island. It was replaced by international airports at Larnaca and Paphos. Passenger arrivals at these two airports totaled 2,900,000 in 1989. In 1990 about thirty airlines offered more than 100 scheduled flights per week from Larnaca to Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf. A number of charter passenger and freight flights were also available. Cyprus Airways, the country's national airline, was both publicly and privately owned. It operated about a dozen large aircraft at the beginning of the 1990s.

The de facto division of Cyprus closed Famagusta, then the island's main port. Larnaca and Limassol took its place. Both ports were modernized and fitted with late-design container and breakbulk facilities that permitted them to warehouse goods and function as major container transshipment centers in the eastern Mediterranean. Transit cargoes enjoyed special treatment, including minimal customs formalities, free trade facilities, and special rates for long-term storage. In addition to these two ports, the island had the smaller ports of Paphos and Vasilikos and three oil terminals for importing petroleum. About 100 shipping lines included Cyprus in their regular schedules. In 1989, 5,678 ships, totaling 14.8 million net registered tons, called at Cypriot ports. During the 1980s, Cyprus became a major shipping nation, moving from twenty-ninth place in the early 1980s, in terms of registered tonnage, to seventh place, with close to 2,000 ships totaling 18.5 million gross tons. Most were foreign-owned.

Data as of January 1991