On 5 April, Malta International Airport plc published traffic results for March 2012. The statistics reveal a 7.7% decrease in passenger movements to 221,912 when compared to the same month last year. This drop was due to a 9.9% decline in seat capacity for the month. Meanwhile, the average seat load factor increased by 1.7 percentage points from 70.5% in March 2011 to 72.2% during the month under review.
The comparison over last year’s figures must also take into consideration that in March 2011, passenger traffic was boosted by the ‘unusual’ influx of traffic arrivals from Libya. In fact, excluding this effect, the passenger movements in 2012 dropped by 5.5% compared to the same month last year.
First Quarter 2012
During the first three months of 2012, MIA experienced a 4.7% decline in pasengers movement when compared to the same period last year. The drop, equivalent to 27,427 passenger movements, was mainly due to the 10% decline in seat capacity whilst the seat load factor increased to 69% as opposed to 65% in Q1 2011. Excluding the effect of the extraordinary influx of over 13,000 passenger traffic from Libya during the first quarter of 2012, the statistics for the period show a drop of 3% when compared to the first quarter of 2011.
The airport operator stated that the Spanish, Italian and French markets registered significant declines of 37.6%, 16.2% and 10.6% respectively whilst the UK market registered a marginal increase of 0.1%. On the other hand, statistics for the German market showed an increase of 21% during the first quarter of 2012.
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.