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Hit and miss for Christmas post
PEOPLE are still waiting for Christmas letters and parcels from the UK, but the postal services said yesterday they were trying to resolve the situation with the Royal Mail.
“Over the past few days – just like last year – we have unfortunately observed delays with UK delivery because there are fewer flights [from the UK to Cyprus],” the head of postal services, Andreas Gregoriou, said.
Delivering postal sacks then becomes by default a lower priority as far as these flights are concerned, Gregoriou said.
Most of the post traffic hails to and from the UK and on average postal services are receiving between 150 and 200 postal sacks a day, an increase of up to 25 per cent compared to the rest of the year, Gregoriou said.
Each sack may weigh a maximum of 30 kilos.
“For three weeks I’ve been expecting my parcels to arrive, I think that’s fair enough,” said a mother of three, who added that she was not going to have presents under her Christmas tree for the second year running.
Though their children realise that their presents will come eventually, “it’s a bit unfair when presents arrive for one of them but not for the rest,” she said.
And she has been waiting for a delivery sent out from the UK in mid-November, she said.
“It’s hard enough to be organised at Christmas when you’re working and you’ve got three kids. You really do need the post office to be on your side,” she added.
But Sarah Murphy – who was let down by the service last year – had only good things to say this time round. “They’ve done perfectly,” Murphy said adding that she ordered gifts from an internet site on December 3 and has been getting parcels through last week and the week before that.
Still, delivery seems to be a hit or miss affair and people have reported having to enquire about undelivered parcels they were not notified about.
One man enquired at his local post office and was led into a room full of undelivered packages.
The postal services said that people were always notified about getting larger parcels – that are tracked electronically – and they had a notification system in place for the smaller parcels.
Earlier this week a Limassol-based woman said that she had only received one item of post from the UK even though she has been waiting for letters, photographs, small [parcels], some since the end of November.
“Where is the mail? Is it lying in bags like last year in Larnaca airport?”
She was referring to thousands of delayed post last year that was eventually delivered by the end of December, too late for hundreds of people who were counting on getting their Christmas items before that.
Despite progress, some have lost hope.
“I have now decided to ask people not to send any more cards… to Cyprus,” the disappointed Limassol resident said.
“It’s a fact that at this time of year there is increased traffic,” Gregoriou said though he said the feedback they were getting from people showed that services had improved.
Postal traffic last year amounted to a minimum of 615,000 arrivals last December compared to average monthly traffic of about 550,000.
Around 11,500 parcels are delivered on average in December, versus some 9,000 on average for any other month in the year.