MIA predicts almost 5 million passengers by end of 2016
- Revised forecast shows that around 4.97 million passengers are expected to pass through MIA by end of year
- Between January and June, passenger movements grew by 9.8 per cent
- Airport confident about sustaining these results in the upcoming winter months
Malta International Airport is expecting 4.97 million passengers to pass through the airport by the end of the year, according to its revised mid-year projections. This would surpass all traffic records achieved so far.
The first six months of this year alone already saw an additional 195,574 passenger movements compared to the same period last year, an increase of 9.8 per cent.
Addressing a press conference, MIA CEO Alan Borg said this increase was even more significant as the growth was being registered in both peak and shoulder months, in line with the nation-wide strategy to promote Malta as a year-round destination.
“The growth we’ve witnessed in the first six months has encouraged us to revise our original forecast for the year announced in January. We are taking into consideration our performance so far, traffic development for the upcoming season and prevalent factors that shape the aviation environment,” said Mr Borg.
He added that June alone registered an increase of 6.8% in passenger movements, continuing with the positive trends observed during the first five months of the year.
This growth was stimulated by an increase in seat capacity and airlines’ increased efficiency in filling up these available seats. In fact, seat load factor (SLF) for the period between January and June reached 80 per cent, while seat capacity grew by 7.4%.
Malta’s top market remains the UK, with 612,413 passenger movements in the first six months of 2016, followed by Italy (459,657) and Germany (284,889). On the other hand, the markets that registered the largest growth were Turkey (37%) and Switzerland (36.4%), following the introduction of more frequent flights leaving Malta International Airport to Istanbul and Zurich and Geneva, respectively.
In the meantime, other noteworthy developments for 2016 include enhanced winter operations and schedules by Ryanair, SAS, and Wizz and the introduction of new and added flights by Air Malta, Lufthansa, and EasyJet.
Minister for Tourism Dr Edward Zammit Lewis noted this with satisfaction, adding that passenger volumes were actually increasing at a faster rate than the growth in seat capacity. Furthermore, Dr Edward Zammit Lewis expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders, particularly Malta International Airport, for their continuous coordination and collaboration with the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) that is leading to the unprecedented growth and diversification of the tourism sector in the last few years.
On his part, Malta Tourism Authority CEO, Mr Paul Bugeja, said that these results indicate that 2016 is well on course towards becoming another excellent year for Maltese tourism, as well as a strong performance in the low season that is contributing to an overall improvement in the seasonal spread of passenger traffic.
In order to keep driving service excellence, Malta International Airport has invested significantly in the passenger experience this year. This includes an embellished security area, new x-ray machines, more way-finding and intelligent signage, lift replacements and washroom refurbishment and a new food court amongst others. Malta International Airport will also be rolling out the first phase of its Terminal expansion project towards the end of this year.