Five new air routes will start operating in Malta in conjunction with Ryanair this summer, Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Four of the new routes will connect Malta to airports in Italy, and include Genoa, Brindisi , Trapani and Cagliari in Sardinia. The latter route will operate between Malta and Chania in Crete.
Bartolo was accompanied by Malta Air CEO David O’ Brien for the announcement, which was held in an empty departure lounge in Malta International Airport (MIA).
“We do not want to see an empty departure lounge this summer”, Bartolo said. “If anything we are here to launch the routes which will start attracting more tourists to Malta in the coming weeks and months”.
The five new routes will be operating twice weekly in line with Ryanair’s Malta summer schedule.
The summer schedule will see six based aircrafts operating between Malta and connecting countries, 155 flights being carried out weekly, 57 operating routes, and the new five routes which Bartolo announced.
O’Brien announced that Malta Air, a joint venture airline between Ryanair and the Malta’s government, will open a new base in Venice, Treviso. Additionally, Lauda Europe, another joint venture airline, will see bases opened in Zagreb and Zadar, both located in Croatia, this summer.
The United Kingdom travel corridor is expected from 17th May and will certainly be in place for June to connect the UK to Malta, O’Brien confirmed.
He said there was a “pent-up demand” for travel to Malta with a recent surge in bookings. “As soon as the gates are open, people will arrive here and Malta is one of the first countries to do that”.
Malta will also be marketed by Ryanair as one of the top 10 destination to travel to in summer 2021; a move that will attract more tourists to the island.
Should tourists be unable to travel to Malta this summer, O’Brien said that passengers will be able to switch their flight to a later date free of charge.
O’Brien also announced that Malta Air will begin using six new environmentally friendly ‘Gamechanger’ Air B-8200 aircrafts. The aircrafts 4% more seats, use 16% less fuel and emit 40% less noise than other aircrafts. The first’ Gamechanger’ will take flight from Malta this coming May.
Lastly, O’Brien announced that Ryanair flights to Malta are now open and seats can be purchased for as low as 14.99 euros.
Malta is preparing to accept tourists to Malta as of 1st June. When announcing the Tourism Recovery Plan two weeks ago – a plan which will invest 20 million euro in Malta’s local tourism industry – Bartolo said that no less than 18 airlines will be flying to Malta in the coming summer. He also confirmed that “no less than 70% of the flights that Malta had before the pandemic will continue working” this summer.