Rich Russians Jetted to Cyprus During COVID-19 Lockdown

With the money to do it, wealthy Russians who wanted to get out of their hard-hit country during the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic took private jets to Cyprus, which had a better record dealing with the health crisis and has a heavy Russian influence.

Some private jet companies told the news agency Reuters they had seen a demand from Russia's rich who wanted to be on the island but couldn't take commercial flights with international air traffic curtailed.

Passengers have been heading for countries such as Britain and Cyprus, where they own property, have residency rights, sometimes thanks to having dual nationality, or have close relatives, industry sources not named told the news agency.

Cyprus will not reveal the names of rich foreigners who buy Golden Visas giving them residency permits and European Union passports but the majority are Chinese and Russian. Since 2013, Cyprus has sold passports to approximately 4,000 foreign nationals, raising more than seven billion euros, according to a recent report by anti-corruption NGO Global Witness.

The European Union has criticized the Golden Visa program for letting people pay their way into the bloc with inadequate vetting and little transparency. The Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering agency, Moneyval, has called Cyprus’s program “inherently vulnerable to abuse.”

Cyprus grants citizenship to almost anyone who has a clean criminal record and big money to invest. Between January 2013 and August 2019, only 56 of 2,700 applicants were rejected, according to official data cited by the news website Kathimerini.

The Russians allowed to jet in on private flights while others were barred because commercial flights weren't allowed when the airport was shut paid between 16,000-25,000 euros ($17,768-$27,762) per flights, enough to otherwise pay for 13 private passengers, Reuters said.

Jet Partners, which offers private jet flights, said it had an an increase in requests for destinations in France, Spain, Cyprus, Britain and other European countries.

“People believe that it is safer for them to be at their private residences abroad,” said Margarita Lomakina, the company’s Commercial Director, a luxury afforded the rich who can get around lockdown rules anywhere.


NICOSIA — Cyprus has assisted in rescue of a small wooden boat crammed with more than 300 migrants that was floating adrift 203 kilometers (126 miles) west of the island nation, a Cypriot official said Tuesday.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


“We Got Our Miracle”: Freed Americans Back Home in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Two US military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting with Ukrainian forces against Russia arrived home to Alabama on Saturday, greeted by hugs, cheers and tears of joy at the state's main airport.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.