Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March, 2021 at 11:09 am by Andre Camilleri
- 27,524 passenger movements registered in February
- 52.5% of available seats on flights to Malta occupied in February
- Urgent efforts needed at national & European levels in preparation for the safe restart of travel
In February, passenger traffic through Malta International Airport dipped to an all-time low since the airport’s reopening to commercial flights in July 2020.
Totalling just 27,524 passenger movements, February traffic registered a drop of 93.5 per cent over the same month in 2020. Amongst the airport’s top 10 markets, the United Kingdom registered the largest drop in passenger numbers as a ban restricting travel between the two countries remained in place.
“If the industry is to see the predicted signs of recovery by the start of summer, urgent and coordinated stakeholder action, which would allow for the safe restart of travel and tourism activities, is needed at national and European levels. While the focus should remain on the effective roll-out of vaccination programmes, other key matters, including health certificates and leveraging mobile technology to enable the reopening of borders, should also be given due importance,” said Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg
Last February marked a year since Malta International Airport first reported the early effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, manifested in declining seat load factors (SLF) – particularly on Italian routes – as the demand for air travel started to wane towards the end of the month.
With consumer confidence and air travel demand remaining particularly low, seat capacity deployed by airlines in February 2021 was at just 10 per cent of February 2020 levels. Standing at 52.5 per cent, last month’s seat load factor showed that just over half the seats available on flights to and from Malta were occupied throughout the month.