Ryanair launches cheap flights to Beirut – but only from Cyprus

Simon Calder

Europe’s biggest budget airline is moving into the one of the last bastions of high fares among Mediterranean nations.

From 30 October, Ryanair will fly to Beirut three times a week from Paphos in Cyprus. Initial fares start at €15 (£13) each way.

Lebanon will be the 38th nation served by the Irish carrier.

The Boeing 737 link is scheduled to take 65 minutes to cover the 183 miles between the two airports.

The airline’s spokesperson, Chiara Ravara, said: “We’re pleased to announce Ryanair’s low fares have arrived at Beirut, our newest airport and first in Lebanon.

“Customers in Lebanon can book low fare flights to Paphos as far out as March 2020.”

Ryanair already flies from Paphos to the two neighbouring capitals, Tel Aviv and Amman.

The move to serve the Lebanese capital comes nine years after Lebanon’s then-tourism minister, Fadi Abboud, told The Independent: “We need cheaper flights. I really want Ryanair and easyJet to consider Lebanon.”

Fares on British Airways and Middle East Airlines from Heathrow to Beirut are currently over £300 return.

With a stop in Paphos, research by The Independent shows travellers can easily put together itineraries costing £115 return from Stansted via Paphos.

There will also be cheap connections from Bournemouth and Liverpool via Paphos on Ryanair.