Malta International Airport eyeing 5.4 million passengers for 2022

  • Encouraging results for the first six months largely driven by strong Q2 recovery
  • The international aviation industry continues to navigate a very challenging landscape
  • Malta International Airport expects to be connected via 83 routes in the winter season
  • Preliminary works on the Apron X project set to start in mid-August

Malta International Airport expects to end the year with 5.4 million passengers, which figure is comparable to the traffic the airport had handled in 2016 and 2017.

This forecast was announced at a press conference held earlier today, during which Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg said that the company finally had enough visibility of the way ahead to be able to disclose reliable traffic projections to the market.

In the first half of 2022, Malta International Airport welcomed 2.3 million passengers as traffic recovered particularly well in the second quarter and balanced out the sluggish start to the year. In spite of the recent signs of the comeback of air travel, the international aviation industry continues to navigate a tough landscape characterised by industrial actions, staff shortages and other operational constraints, as well as geopolitical and economic factors.

“We must now focus on maintaining the momentum gained in the second quarter beyond the summer months. Given our mid-year performance and flight schedule for winter, we are quite confident that our 5.4 million traffic target can be achieved if we continue to work with our stakeholders. However, we must also bear in mind that we are not immune to the industry-specific challenges and macroeconomic factors that have been casting a shadow over the aviation industry’s recovery,” said Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg.

Mr Borg also presented the traffic developments secured by Malta International Airport together with the Malta Tourism Authority for winter. During the upcoming season, Malta International Airport expects to be connected through 83 routes, marking a recovery of around 80 per cent of the airport’s pre-pandemic connectivity. Two of the routes that will be making a comeback this winter after having been discontinued for the season at the onset of the pandemic are Skopje in North Macedonia and Cluj in Romania, both of which will be operated by Wizz Air.

“The sustained growth in connectivity following the pandemic has resulted in Malta being directly accessible from a growing number of routes and with increasing frequency. This has had a direct impact on tourism numbers which are increasing in direct response to airline capacity being floated.  The MTA will continue working to attract increasing tourism numbers to achieve the recovery of the sector by tapping into new and emerging geographical markets and by targeting a wide range of motivational interests in line with the destination’s multifaceted attractions.  Recognising the multiple challenges which the air transport sector and the tourism industry continue to face worldwide, the MTA will continue working hand in hand with the Ministry for Tourism, Malta International Airport and its industry partners to maximise all opportunities as they arise,” said Malta Tourism Authority Chief Executive Officer Carlo Micallef.

While reconnecting the Maltese Islands and analysing new opportunities for traffic growth will continue to top Malta International Airport’s priorities, the Company will also continue to invest in medium to long-term projects which will further develop the airport campus. Having recently completed an extensive upgrade of the airport Food Court on Level -1, the Company is now days away from setting the Apron X multi-million project into motion, with preliminary works in the area set to start in mid-August. This project will see the development of approximately 100,000 square metres of land to accommodate new aircraft parking stands, a taxiway, a staging area for ground handling operations and a reservoir.

Published on: 28.07.22