Friday, June 11, 2021

Malta IAP releases traffic results for May-21

As the Maltese islands edged closer to the reopening of travel and tourism, Malta International Airport registered 75,420 passenger movements during the month leading to this resumption.

This total for May translates into a drop of 88.8% compared to the same month in 2019, but marks a slight improvement over the first four months of 2021, during which monthly passenger movements consistently remained below the 40,000 mark.

The top markets for May were Italy, Germany, France, Poland and Turkey, with the results registered by these markets being driven by the relaxation of certain restrictions on travel from Malta and the resumption of flight operations to a number of regional airports.  Turkey, on the other hand, remained an important connecting hub for passengers who could not travel directly to their final destination due to restrictions in place.

The seat load factor for the month of May – indicating the percentage of seats occupied on flights operated to and from Malta IAP – stood at 62.0%.

Malta IAP expects seat capacity deployed by airlines in June to increase by more than double the capacity for the month of May, as passenger demand is expected to gradually start recovering.

(Source: maltairport.com, 11-Jun-2021)

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Joint livery with DHL features on first SmartLynx A321 freighter

Wet-lease specialist SmartLynx has shown off its initial Airbus A321 freighter, a twinjet registered to the operator's Maltese division.  It carries the joint liveries of SmartLynx and express cargo company DHL's European Air Transport division.

The jet (9H-CGA) is a 1998 airframe originally delivered to Swissair and subsequently operated by airlines including Air Mediterranee and the Congolese carrier Compagnie Africaine d’Aviation.  It underwent conversion to a freighter last year with aircraft maintenance and modification firm Vallair.

"Through its investment in the introduction of the A321F to the fleet, SmartLynx Malta is visibly demonstrating its commitment to sustainability," it adds.  It states that the jet – powered by CFM International CFM56 engines – is “perfectly placed” to meet increasing demand for express cargo transport.

Chief executive Zygimantas Surintas says e-commerce and the continuing need to transport medical supplies have “vastly dictated the pace of growth” across the air cargo sector.

SmartLynx says it is intending to introduce further A321 freighters and aims to become “one of the largest” operators of narrowbody cargo aircraft.

(Source: flightglobal.com, 10-Jun-2021)

Skytrax awards Malta IAP 5-stars following a COVID-19 safety audit

Malta International Airport has been awarded five stars for its COVID-19 health and safety efforts by the leading air transport audit and research organisation – Skytrax – becoming one of only nine airports worldwide to hold this prestigious rating.

Malta IAP was accorded Skytrax's highest COVID-19 rating following a three-day audit of the airport’s processes, protocols and premises conducted by one of the organisation’s auditors in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Apart from observations of the health and safety protocols employed at main passenger touch-points, a good part of the audit was dedicated to the testing of almost 60 frequently touched surfaces, ranging from vending machine buttons to escalator handrails, in order to determine their sanitisation levels.  Tests carried out on security trays used by passengers at the Security Screening Area returned particularly impressive results.

Skytrax’s 64-page audit report highlighted a number of opportunities for further improvement as well as a good number of strengths observed during the audit. Malta IAP received glowing praise from Skytrax for its Airport Care Team, whose role in the delivery of a 5-star experience in terms of health and safety was described as ‘significant’.

The report also highlighted the diligence of the security and cleaning staff; the availability of hand sanitising stations; the development of consistent signage; and the management of the shopping experience as elements which left a particularly good impression during the audit, elevating the journey through Malta IAP to 5-star status.

(Source: maltairport.com, 10-Jun-2021)

Emirates to resume flights to Malta via Cyprus

Emirates has announced it will resume three weekly services to Malta via Larnaca, Cyprus, from 14-Jul-2021, further expanding its European network to 34 destinations.

With a successful vaccination programme and an overall decrease in daily COVID-19 cases in the country, Malta has officially welcomed U.A.E. tourists back to the Maltese Islands on 1-Jun.  

Flights to/from Malta will operate three times weekly through the airline's existing Larnaca service on its two-class Boeing 777-300ER, offering 42 lie-flat seats in Business and 386 ergonomically designed seats in Economy class.

Emirates flight EK-109 will depart Dubai (DXB) every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 0800hrs, arriving in Larnaca at 1110hrs.  The flight will leave Larnaca at 1220hrs, arriving in Malta IAP at 1405hrs.  The return flight, EK-110 leaves Malta at 1535hrs, arriving in Larnaca at 1900hrs.  The flight will leave Larnaca at 2010hrs, arriving 0105hrs arriving in Dubai the next day.  Emirates customers also have seamless access to European cities via the airline’s codeshare agreement with Air Malta.

(Source: emirates.com, 10-Jun-2021)

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Italian AF Tornado IDS for 2021 Malta International Airshow

The Italian Air Force has officially informed the Malta Int'l Airshow Team 2021 of its plans to participate with a Panavia Tornado at this year's edition of the event.

The Aeronautica Militare Italiana received its first Tornado in 1982 and the type is presently flown by No 6 Stormo based at Ghedi air base, in Brescia.

With the number of Panavoa Tornados dwindling as the type gets superseded by newer equipment, the Airshow Team is truly appreciative of welcoming back a Tornado for the static display at Luqa.

(Source: maltairshow.com, 9-Jun-2021)