The Malta Independent 21 October 2019, Monday

18% increase in air passenger transport to Malta

Saturday, 8 December 2018, 10:44 Last update: about 12 months ago

There was an 18% increase in air passenger transport to Malta between 2016 and 2017, a study by the European Union statistics body Eurostat found.

This means that Malta has one of the highest rates of increase in air passenger transport in the whole of the EU.  Slovenia registered the highest growth with 20%, followed by Luxembourg, Estonia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic (all on 19%).  Malta is joined on an 18% increase by Romania and Croatia.  Poland and Portugal meanwhile are close followers, having registered a 17% increase themselves.

All in all, every country in the European Union registered an increase in air passenger transport; in total 1.043 billion passengers travelled by air in the EU, which is an increase of 7% - or rather, 71 million people.

Malta itself played host to just over 6 million air passengers; a figure which is actually more than the air passengers received by countries such as Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia, although it must be taken into account that the said passengers also receive a substantial number of people through over-land transport.

5.5 million of the passengers received by Malta came from European Union countries, whilst the remaining half a million arrived from extra-EU countries.

Heathrow Airport in London was found to be the busiest airport in Europe, catering for 78 million passengers – a slight increase of 3% from 2016.  Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris (69 million), Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam (68 million), Frankfurt’s Main Airport in Germany (64 million) and Barajas Airport in Madrid (52 million) completed the top five list of the busiest airports in the EU.  They were followed by El Prat airport in Barcelona (47 million), Gatwick airport in London (46 million), Munich airport in Germany (45 million) and Fiumicino airport in Rome (41 million).

Each of the top 30 EU airports registered an increase in the number of passengers handled in 2017, save for Fiumicino in Rome (a 2% decrease) and Tegel airport in Berlin (a 4% decrease).  Chopin Airport in Poland’s capital Warsaw meanwhile saw the highest increase in passengers within the top 30, at 23%, ahead of Lisbon and Prague’s main airports, which both registered increase of 19%.  They are all blitzed however by the increase registered by the airport in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city, which is only the 63rd busiest airport in Europe, but saw an increase of 30.5% in passengers. 

The Malta International Airport is ranked as the 67th busiest airport in Europe.

Eurostat said that the air passenger figures were calculated excluding double counting of national and intra-EU passenger transport, meaning that they do not count the same passengers twice, once reported by the origin airport as departures and once by the partner airport as arrivals.


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