On 13 July, Malta International Airport plc published the June 2016 traffic results revealing yet another record month with an increase of 6.8% to 490,381 passenger movements over the same month in 2015 on the back of a 6.2% increase in seat capacity to 598,733 seats coupled with a 0.5 percentage point increase in the seat load factor to 81.9%.
The announcement also stated that during the first six months of the year, passenger movements increased by 195,574 or 9.8% over the same period last year to 2,183,089 passenger movements. Overall, growth was driven by a 7.4% increase in seat capacity to 2,727,890 seats and a 1.8 percentage point increase in the seat load factor to 80% from 78% in the first half of 2015.
Malta’s top market remains the UK, with 612,413 passenger movements in the first six months of 2016, followed by Italy (459,657) and Germany (274,954). On the other hand, the markets that registered the largest growth were Turkey (+37%) and Switzerland (+36.4%), following the introduction of more frequent flights leaving MIA to Istanbul, Zurich and Geneva respectively. In the meantime, other noteworthy developments for 2016 include enhanced winter operations and schedules by Ryanair, SAS, and Wizz and the introduction of new and added flights by Air Malta, Lufthansa and EasyJet.
MIA also revised upwards its 2016 passenger growth forecast and is now expecting a 7.5% growth in passenger movements to 4.97 million passengers compared to the previous 2016 forecast of 4.73 million (+2.4%) revealed in January 2016.
Commenting on the results, MIA CEO Mr Alan Borg said that the growth registered by MIA is even more significant when considering that it is occurring in both the peak and the shoulder months in line with the nationwide strategy of promoting Malta as a year-round destination. Mr Borg stated: “the growth we’ve witnessed in the first six months has encouraged us to revise our original forecast for the year announced in January. We are taking into consideration our performance so far, traffic development for the upcoming season and prevalent factors that shape the aviation environment.”