Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg announced that three new airlines will launch flights to Malta this summer.
Volotea, to Catania, Iberia Express to Madrid and Czech Airlines to Pragues will be operating as from summer 2016.
During a press conference this afternoon at MIA, Mr Borg said that over 4.6 million passengers passed through the airport in 2015, an increase of 7.7% or 328,338 passengers.
The press conference was addressed by Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, Malta Tourism Authority CEO Paul Bugeja and Mr Borg.
Minister Zammit Lewis said that developments on Air Malta will be announced in the coming days.
Speaking with The Malta Independent Minister Zammit Lewis said “the discussions are underway; we intend to conclude a preliminary agreement in the coming days. There will be a number of successive agreements, each time going into more depth. Discussions will obviously progress with regard to more elaborate agreements such as human resources, operations, our tourism network and all issues which affect our airlines”
The Minister has mentioned, on many occasions, that a strategic partner for the airline is currently being sought however no information as to who the strategic partner might be was ever revealed.
It has, however, been reported that Etihad is a possible contender.
It was said, in the press conference, that MIA is expected to host at least 4.7 million passengers in 2016.
Mr Borg said that EasyJet will be launching a new route to Geneva, and Ryanair will be expanding operations by another 10 routes in summer, including Poznan, Baden-Baden and Cologne.
October, typically a shoulder month, has done exceedingly well with 465,557 passengers, which can also be said for the month of November which saw 283,498 passengers.
MIA experienced passenger growth of 7.9% between January and November 2015, exceeding growth of EU airports (5.6%) and non-EU airports (3.7%).
The top three markets for 2015 remained the United Kingdom with 28% market share, Italy with 20% market share and Germany with 13% of the market share.
Minister Zammit Lewis said that the government is currently unhappy with the “marketing and connectivity” with Germany, stating that efforts will be launched to improve connections.
Last month, MIA announced a series of investments that would inject at least €78 million into the Maltese economy. The investment plans include an estimated €40 million on Skyparks 2, a €28 million Terminal Expansion and €9.8 million in capital expenditure for 2016.
Photographs by Jonathan Borg