MIA forecasts further growth to host 6.5 million passengers in 2018
Malta International Airport today presented its traffic forecast for 2018, revealing that it expects to register further growth in the coming year to reach a total of 6.5 million passengers.
Presented at the airport’s yearly traffic results press conference, this forecast comes hot on the heels of Malta International Airport’s announcement that it had reached its 6 millionth passenger milestone, thus breaking all previous traffic records. 2017 was brought to a close with 6,014,548 passenger movements, translating into an impressive upturn of 17.5 per cent over 2016, and establishing 2017 as the fastest-growing year.
Thriving passenger numbers were observed in parallel with an increase of 15 per cent in aircraft movements and an 18 per cent growth in seat capacity. In spite of this increase in the number of seats available, the seat load factor (SLF) for the year still stood at a healthy 82.4 per cent, in line with the observed European trend.
Malta International Airport’s top drivers of traffic for 2017 were the United Kingdom (+8.9 per cent), Italy (+14.8 per cent), Germany (+20.9 per cent), France (+20.6 per cent), and Belgium (+109.2 per cent).
“While our performance in 2017 may appear difficult to top, our forecast indicates that we can look ahead to another promising year, provided that hard work, investment, and service excellence continue to shape the way. I would like to thank all the team working at the airport and our stakeholders for their contribution to the airport’s success story so far, and invite further cooperation in the writing of yet another exciting chapter,” said Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg.
It was also highlighted that all months had achieved double-digit growth for the first time in the airport’s records, auguring well for the strategy developed by Malta International Airport, the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority to promote Malta as a year-round tourist destination.
Mr Borg went on to say that the airport’s summer schedule for 2018 features no less than 16 new routes, bringing the airport’s destination network up to a 100. Moreover, this schedule introduces for the first time flights to Portugal, a long sought-after destination. This development stems from the recent efforts of the traffic development team at Malta International Airport and the respective government entities to establish a link with this previously unserved destination.
Beyond traffic projections, 2018 promises to be a busy year in terms of infrastructure developments, as it will mark the completion of Malta International Airport’s €12 million Terminal Reconfiguration Project. While most of the terminal improvements falling within phase 1 of this project have been delivered, the focus has now shifted to the Check-In Hall, which will be equipped with eight additional check-in desks and a new Baggage Handling System (BHS) by summer 2018.
During the press conference, it was also revealed that in the coming year MIA will be investing another €8.8 million in terminal and airfield improvements, airport operations and security, and a new cargo village.
Following the yearly press conference, Malta International Airport hosted a short ceremony, presided over by Minister for Tourism Dr Konrad Mizzi, to celebrate the achievement of its 6 millionth passenger milestone on the last day of 2017.
Minister Mizzi said, “These excellent results reflect the efforts being made by MIA, the Government and private operators to promote Malta and develop our connectivity. We look forward to working with various airlines to continue introducing flights to new destinations and improving connectivity to existing routes, in 2018.”
On his part, Malta Tourism Authority CEO Paul Bugeja commended MIA in reaching this important milestone in 2017 just after another successful year in 2016, noting that the close collaboration there has always existed between MIA and the MTA has proved to be fruitful time and again. Mr Bugeja remarked that year-round connectivity and increased route options have been key in ensuring sustainable and consistent growth throughout the year, auguring well for the future of the tourism industry in Malta.