Saturday, December 24, 2016

Air Malta to discontinue its Manchester route next summer

As of May 2017, Air Malta will be discontinuing its Manchester route to focus on other, more profitable ones, the national airline said in a statement. Air Malta said that it will be increasing frequencies on Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Catania, Lyon, Palermo, Prague and Moscow.

"Air Malta is focusing its efforts on its best performers and will operate with up to double daily flights in peak summer to Munich, Rome and Catania," Air Malta said. "Next summer, Air Malta will be operating 150 weekly flights to 29 destinations and planning to carry 1.2 million passengers while continue operating with a fleet of eight aircraft similar to this year," it added. (Source:, 23-Dec-2016)

Afriqiyah A320 diverts to Malta IAP after hijacked by two pax

An Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320-200 (5A-ONB), performing flight 8U-209 from Sebha to Tripoli (Libya) with 111 passengers and six crew, was en route at FL340 nearing the top of descent into Tripoli when the aircraft did not start the descent but changed the course to Malta due to unlawful interference on board.

The aircraft landed safely on Malta's RWY 31 about 40-mins later at 11:32L (10:32Z). The aircraft taxied onto RWY 23 and stopped 850m short of the runway end of that runway. Engines were still running 90-mins after landing and were subsequently shut down.

Malta's government reported two hijackers claiming to be armed with hand grenades took control of the aircraft and that negotiations with the hijackers were under way.

Malta's Prime Minister reported at 14:50L that all passengers and some crew members have been released, only the two hijackers and some crew were still on board of the aircraft.

At 15:45L Malta's Prime Minister reported that the hijackers surrendered and were taken into custody. All people aboard the aircraft have disembarked.

Police later reported the weapons (hand grenade and pistols) were dummies. (Source:, 23-Dec-2016)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Emirates to fly daily between Dubai and Malta via Cyprus from Feb. 1st

Emirates is to re-route its daily service between Dubai and Malta via Larnaca, Cyprus, from Feb. 1st, 2017. The current five-days-a-week Dubai/Tunis/Malta/Dubai route will be changed to Dubai/Larnaca/Malta/Larnaca/Dubai, the same as the current flight operating every Monday and Wednesday.

The Malta route allows travellers to book tickets between Malta and Cyprus. The service will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class, and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class. 

Starting Feb. 1st, EK-109 will depart Dubai at 0750, arriving in Larnaca at 1020. It will then depart Larnaca at 1150, arriving in Malta at 1325. The return flight, EK-110, will leave Malta at 1455, arriving in Larnaca at 1815. It will then depart Larnaca at 1930, and land in Dubai at 0125 the next day. (Source:, 22-Dec-2016)

Wizz Air to launch Katowice-Malta service in summer 2017

Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, announced a new summer route from Katowice (Poland) to Malta with effect from Mar. 10th, 2017. This new route will be offered twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays. (Source:, 22-Dec-2016)

Malta IAP celebrates its five millionth passenger this year

Malta International Airport today celebrated its five millionth passenger this year, marking a new milestone in its aviation history.

This means that the airport increased its annual traffic by one million passengers in three years and gains further significance when considering that the airport went from three million passengers to four million between 2008 and 2013.

"This is a remarkable accomplishment for us, especially since not long ago, the numbers reached today were inconceivable for Malta. Our five millionth passenger is welcomed as a testament to the hard work put in by all industry stakeholders," said Malta IAP CEO, A. Borg. 

"With this new milestone under our belt, we now shoulder added responsibilities that inevitably stem from these numbers. At the top of our priority list is doubtlessly the need to constantly invest in infrastructure that is fitting for Malta's only air terminal," Mr Borg added.

While encouraging everyone to continue to pursue service excellence in the coming year, Mr Borg went on to thank the team at Malta International Airport and all stakeholders who were crucial in achieving this milestone. (Source:, 21-Dec-2016)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wizz Air to launch Cluj-Malta service in summer 2017

Wizz Air yesterday announced planned service expansion from its Cluj base in Romania, scheduled to commence in summer 2017 season. Planned new service includes the launching of four routes from March 2017. One of the new routes being Cluj will be to Malta IAP (effective from Mar. 26th). This new route will be offered twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Sundays (Source:, 14-Dec-2016)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Alitalia & Air Malta begins codeshare service

Alitalia and Air Malta today will commence reciprocal codeshare partnership, covering 34 routes between Italy and Malta, as well as within and beyond Italy. Planned codeshare routes as follow:

Flights operated by Alitalia: Catania – Bologna, Milan-Linate – Alghero, Milan-Linate – Brindisi, Milan-Linate – Cagliari, Milan-Linate – Frankfurt, Milan-Linate – London City, Milan-Linate – Pescara, Milan-Linate – Rome, Rome – Amsterdam, Rome – Ancona, Rome – Bari, Rome – Bologna, Rome – Brindisi,
Rome – Cagliari, Rome – Catania, Rome – Florence, Rome – Geneve, Rome – Genoa, Rome – Lamezia Terme, Rome – Malta, Rome – Naples, Rome – Nice, Rome – Palermo, Rome – Paris-CDG, Rome – Pisa, Rome – Reggio di Calabria, Rome – Trieste, Rome – Turin, Rome – Venice and Rome – Verona 

Flights operated by Air Malta: Malta – Catania, Malta – Milan-Linate, Malta – Palermo and Malta – Rome. (Source: routeonline, 12-Dec-2016)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for November 2016

The winter season opened on excellent footing at Malta International Airport, with November registering a staggering growth of 22.4% over the same month last year.

This is by far the highest monthly increase for 2016, going on to displace March’s 19% growth rate from the top spot. November’s spurt augurs well for the key stakeholders in the industry’s stepped up efforts, to ensure that the Maltese islands are an attractive, year-round holiday destination.

This growth in passenger movements was recorded in parallel with an upturn of 17% in aircraft movements and an increased seat capacity of 21.3%. This increase partly stemmed from the airport’s enhanced winter schedule, offering no less than 18 new connections for the season.

Airlines were also more efficient in filling up the available seats, with November having registered a seat load factor (SLF) of 82.4%. In absolute terms, the airport gained more than 63,000 passengers over the same month last year.

The airport’s top five markets all grew by varying degrees and featured a newcomer. Belgium made an appearance in this list for the first time, following increased connectivity to Brussels.

Outside of the top five markets, and in line with the airport’s strategy to recoup traffic from the Iberian Peninsula, Spain continued to grow at an impressive rate. The Spanish market’s 87% upturn resulted from the introduction of a twice-weekly flight to Valencia, increased operations to both Madrid and Barcelona, and Girona’s extension into the winter period.

November’s results further enhance Malta International Airport’s optimism for the winter period, as the airport focuses on welcoming 5 million passengers before the year is through. (Source: maltairport, Dec-2016)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Air Malta launches its 2017 summer schedule

Air Malta is planning to operate 150 weekly flights to 29 destinations next summer. With this schedule, running from the Mar. 26th till Oct. 28, 2017, the Maltese airline is planning to carry 1.2 million passengers while continue operating with a fleet of eight aircraft similar to this year.

Air Malta's summer 2017 schedule sees the airline operate increased frequencies on Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Catania, Lyon, Palermo, Prague and Moscow. The airline will operate with up to double daily flights in peak summer to Munich, Rome and Catania. 

Next summer Air Malta will decrease some frequencies for all or part of the season on London Gatwick, Berlin, Manchester and Geneva and dropping Athens and Frankfurt. However the airline will still retain its code-share flights to Frankfurt where Lufthansa will be the operating carrier with two daily flights.

The airline will continue code-sharing agreements with Air France, Alitalia, Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines, Meridiana, Swiss Airlines and Turkish Airlines. These agreements expand Air Malta's network to other markets worldwide. 

This summer schedule will maximise opportunities, increase efficiency and make flights more attractive, both for travellers from Malta as well as for the tourists visiting the islands next summer. 

"We have focused on our core routes; increasing frequencies on them whilst decreasing or stopping operations to low performing ones. We have increased frequencies to the most convenient international airports enabling our guests to fly when they want with the least ground transportation costs possible. Our strategy to increase frequencies will translate into better opportunities for short-break visitors, growth in tourism numbers to Malta, whilst operating with increasing aircraft utilisation", said J. Galea Air Malta’s Acting Chief Executive.

"We are determined to continue maximising our limited resources to achieve better operational efficiency and reap the best opportunities from our route network. We pride to operate the best conveniently timed flight schedule and route network to and from Malta by operating to the best airports that offer connections far and beyond Air Malta's network though our code-share partners", added Mr Galea.

Next summer Air Malta will also continue being the largest charter operator to/from Malta and is planning an interesting program for Maltese and foreign operators. Discussions with charter operators are currently underway. (Source: Air Malta, 30-Nov-2016)