Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 February, 2021 at 9:08 pm by Andre Camilleri
- January 2021 passenger traffic comparable to 3-day operation in Jan 2020
- Italy was MLA’s top market for January, despite heavy weekly flight frequency losses to Rome Fiumicino
- Only 28 scheduled routes offered in Jan 2021, as opposed to 99 in Jan 2020
Malta International Airport started what is set to be another challenging year for the aviation industry with a drop of 90.7% in January passenger traffic.
During the month of January, 38,938 passengers travelled through Malta International Airport, with this monthly total being comparable to the traffic handled by the airport in three days in January 2020.
The airport’s weakest traffic result since its reopening in July 2020 comes in the wake of the implementation of new travel bans and more stringent requirements in source markets such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Having slid four places when compared to January 2020, the United Kingdom ranked sixth in Malta International Airport’s top market list, with Italy, Germany, France, Turkey, and Belgium all outperforming it in terms of passenger movements.
Malta International Airport registered significant drops in weekly flight frequencies for January. From among Malta International Airport’s top airports for the month, Rome Fiumicino was hit hardest, as the 27 weekly flights operated in January 2020 were whittled down to just eight last month.
Changing travel requirements and restrictions also had an impact on overall connectivity, with Malta International Airport’s direct connections being limited to just 28 scheduled routes in January 2021 as opposed to 99 scheduled routes operated in January 2020.
The situation in Europe
Airports Council International recently highlighted that the number of routes European airports have lost since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic was fast nearing the 7,000 mark.
The same organisation issued a revised passenger traffic forecast for 2021, predicting that air traffic would remain low in the first half of the year and start recovering in the third quarter, subject to the effective roll-out of vaccinations and the partial lifting of existing travel restrictions.