4.5 Million Passengers Expected at Malta International Airport in 2015
- Malta Airport passenger traffic up by almost 70% since 2005
- Passenger growth forecast for 2015 revised after first six months
- Minister for Tourism: “A record year expected on all fronts”
Malta International Airport is expecting to host at least 4.5 million passengers by the end of the year, an increase of more than 200,000 over 2014. This is equivalent to over 1,100 Boeing 737 aircraft at full capacity.
Giving its updated mid-year forecast, MIA said today it was experiencing record passenger numbers month after month and successfully increasing Malta Airport passenger traffic in the non-peak months.
“Our revised forecast for this year takes into account several elements: the growth rate for the first six months, the positive start to summer and a cautiously optimistic view of the remaining quarters,” said CEO Alan Borg.
“The really good news is that in just 10 years, traffic to Malta has gone up by almost 70 per cent, with the increase being spread evenly throughout the year and not just in the peak months. We’re confident we can keep increasing our traffic and help to sell Malta as a year-round destination,” he added.
Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis welcomed the results and said the overall prospects for the tourism sector remained very positive, with a record year expected on all fronts.
The Minister noted that efforts were being directed to further diversify Malta’s source markets and extend the tourism season through improved accessibility and the expansion of the island’s product and event offering to cover the full calendar year.
A comparison with the figures registered 10 years ago shows that traffic in Q1 (January, February and March) grew by 58 per cent since 2005, and the combined growth for both Q1 and Q2 registered an increase of 69 per cent.
The latest Malta Airport passenger traffic figures for June show an increase of 8.2 per cent compared to last year. Meanwhile, traffic between January and June increased by 6.9 per cent over 2014.
The increase in traffic was in part a result of seat capacity rising by 4.9 per cent this June compared to the same month last year. Similarly, the average seat capacity from January to June was up 3.7 per cent compared to the same period of 2014.
Besides a larger number of seats available, airlines flying to and from Malta also managed to fill their aircraft more consistently, with seat load factor hitting 81.3 per cent in June compared to 78.8 per cent last year. For the period January to June, seat load factor hit an average of 77.9 per cent compared to 75.6 per cent registered in the first six months of last year.
Meanwhile, cargo and mail have increased by 4.5 per cent in June compared with last year, but registered an overall drop of two per cent for the period January to June.
Malta’s top market remains the UK, with 580,107 passenger movements in the first six months of 2015, followed by Italy (396,427) and Germany (274,954).
After registering such remarkable growth in these markets, MIA’s strategy is to continue to focus on the more untapped regions around Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, including Russia. Strategic objectives also include recovering traffic from Spain and exploring opportunities for connectivity to Portugal, said Mr Borg.
For the first time, Scandinavian Airlines and Vueling will extend their operation into winter whilst Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Ryanair and Wizzair will be increasing their weekly flights.
In 2015, MIA invested €2 million in the expansion of the non-Schengen area, €950,000 in runway, apron and taxiway improvements and another €970,000 in high voltage network re-organization and back-up standby power generators.
Marketing & Brand Development
23 July 2015