On 5 March, Malta International Airport plc published February 2012 traffic results. The statistics reveal a 3% decrease in passenger movements to 169,689 when compared to the same month last year due to a 10.6% decline in seat capacity for the month. Meanwhile, the average seat load factor increased by 5.5 percentage points in February from 63.7% in February 2011 to 69.2% during the month under review.
The comparison over last year’s figures must also take into consideration that in February 2011, passenger traffic was boosted by the ‘unusual’ influx of traffic arrivals from Libya amounting to circa 5,500 passengers. This was partly offset by the passenger movements registered on the extra day in February 2012 (due to a leap year) (5,364 passengers).
The airport operator stated that the German and United Arab Emirates markets registered significant increases of 34.6% and 18.6% respectively whilst the UK market registered a marginal increase of 0.1%. On the other hand, statistics for the Italian and French market showed a decline of 14.4% and 24.6% during the month under review.
For the first two months of 2012, passenger movements decreased by 2.6%, aircraft movements retreated by 9.6% and seat capacity slipped 10.2%. In the same period, the average seat load factor registered an increase of 5.2 percentage points.
Earlier on this year, MIA stated that it is forecasting that passenger numbers for 2012 will be 2.8% lower than those registered in 2011.