The Malta Independent 29 June 2022, Wednesday

Desks at the airport to increase three-fold to address overcrowding

Jake Aquilina Monday, 5 July 2021, 12:11 Last update: about 13 months ago

The Malta International Airport will see a three-fold increase in the number of desks and people working to reduce overcrowding at the airport, Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Clayton Bartolo, told The Malta Independent.

Pictures of overcrowding at the airport have been circling on social media, with large queues seen and waiting times said to be as long as two to three hours. However, the Minister said that the airport is working to amend the situation and that it shall be addressed “in the coming hours”.

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“Discussions between the Malta Tourism Authority, the Malta International Airport and the Public Health Department are ongoing, where we are looking at how we can improve the system so that the queues that are there are reduced,” the Tourism Minister said.

“We know that there were certain issues, and we are taking care of these issues. We are seeing that the more time passes, the more we are improving the system in place,” he noted.

This will be done by increasing the desks which greet people at the airport, Bartolo said. “In the coming days, we will triple the number of desks in comparison to how many there were a few days ago.”

In the last few days, the Minister said that the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) had released a call for a number of people so that they can assist these persons that are coming to the airport in order to reduce such overcrowding.

Furthermore, the Minister remarked that the issue was also a matter of logistics, which is what he is also seeking to address. “We want to see that those people who are coming and who have all the necessary documentation filled pass from one side, while others which do not have their documents ready fill them in a separate place, and then they go to the check-in desks.”

“These are all logistical issues wherein the more people you have, the more complicated the process gets. However, I believe that we have people who are capable enough to take care of the situation at the airport which in the coming hours – not days – we will see a considerable improvement,” he said.

The Minister was also asked about the situation regarding the Ħamrun gatherings, to which he replied that there are the relevant authorities which are taking control of the situation and that fines have been issued.

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