Malta: Airport travel drops in November 36% lower than 2019, but MIA sees green shoots

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Last November saw 315,964 passengers travel through Malta International Airport. This total translates into a decrease of 35.9 per cent compared to 2019 figures, which is the lowest percentage drop to be registered by Malta International Airport since the start of the pandemic.

Out of a total of 455,802 seats available on flights operated to and from Malta International Airport, almost 70 per cent were occupied during the month of November. The seat load factor (SLF) for the past three months has remained largely unchanged, decreasing only marginally from 70.2 per cent in September 2021 to settle at 69.3 per cent in October and November 2021.

After having topped Malta International Airport’s list of most popular markets for three consecutive months, the United Kingdom was outranked by Italy, which registered 60,551 passenger movements, last November. Following an absence of several months and the introduction of the Warsaw Modlin route at the beginning of November, Poland outperformed Spain and re-appeared among last month’s top five markets. Germany and France, on the other hand, retained the previous month’s position within this list.

“November’s traffic performance was in line with our expectations, however the success of the holiday season depends on how Europe responds to the evolving epidemiological situation and the emergence of new variants. The introduction of tighter and fragmented restrictions would deal a new blow to consumer confidence, which would not only impact air travel in December but also have more far-reaching effects into 2022,” said Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg.

Last week, Airports Council International expressed its support for the World Health Organisation’s call for a measured approach to the new variant, following the Organisation’s appeal to countries to continue applying a risk-based approach when implementing travel measures and reminder that blanket travel bans place a heavy burden on livelihoods.

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