Airport traffic in May was 18% below 2019 levels

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Passenger traffic through the airport in May was 18% below 2019 levels before COVID-19, Malta International Airport announced on Monday.

He said May was the second month in a row to see more than 500,000 travellers.

554,820 passengers passed through Malta International Airport last month, translating to an 82.3% recovery of pre-pandemic figures as more travel requirements were lifted by the Maltese authorities. The majority of countries directly connected to Malta International Airport have now completely waived their travel requirements for passengers arriving from a European Union or Schengen area country.

MIA said passenger traffic recovered in line with the recovery in seat capacity, which was 81.2% of 2019 levels.

81.4% of available seats on flights operated to and from Malta International Airport were occupied in May. Marking a 1.1% increase from 2019, last month’s seat occupancy rate was the highest recorded by Malta International Airport in the last two years, indicating further release of the pent-up demand for air travel.

Italy continued to lead the way in terms of market popularity, accounting for 121,120 passengers of total May traffic. The United Kingdom, France, Germany and Poland also maintained their ranking from the previous month.

MIA said that although it has recovered almost 80% of its pre-pandemic connectivity, the recovery of two of its main markets – the UK and Germany – is happening at a much slower pace. Prior to the pandemic, the UK and Germany held first and third place respectively in the airport market rankings.

Impact of the war in Ukraine

MIA said the most recent forecast for the industry was released by Eurocontrol last week. Its forecast of flight movements in Europe offers three recovery scenarios, each taking into account the impact of the war in Ukraine. The reference scenario, which lies between a more pessimistic scenario and a more optimistic scenario, shows that a return to pre-pandemic figures will be achieved in 2024, in a scenario where passenger confidence continues to increase, Staff shortages are under control and rising energy prices and other costs have a limited impact on citizens’ purchasing power.

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