On 11 January, Malta International Airport plc issued a company announcement revealing the 2016 traffic results and the passenger forecast for 2017.
During 2016, MIA registered a 10% increase in passenger movements to a record of 5.08 million movements (2015: 4.62 million) reflecting the 4.5% increase in aircraft movements which consequently led to an increase of 7.6% in seat capacity. Furthermore, the seat load factor increased by 2.2 percentage points to 83.3% from 81.1% in 2015.
MIA also noted that its top markets for 2016 all registered growth. Indeed, passenger numbers from the United Kingdom increased by 5.4%, followed by Italy (+15.3%), Germany (+8.0%), France (+5.5%) and Spain (+26.7%).
In addition, the airport operator managed to attract increased passenger numbers also during the shoulder months, with November and December registering the highest growth in passenger number of +22.4% and +32.2% respectively. In this respect, MIA’s 2016/17 winter schedule, which started in November 2016 and which will last till March 2017, features 18 new connections as well as increased flight frequencies making it the busiest winter schedule for MIA ever.
MIA also provided an update on the works on the terminal reconfiguration project which are expected to be concluded in 2018. On completion, the terminal will be furnished with additional check-in desks, a larger security area, a new observation desk and a new La Valette Lounge on Level 3.
2017 Forecast & Financial Targets
Following the seventh consecutive year of record passenger movements in 2016, MIA is expecting a further growth of between 2% to 3% in passenger numbers to 5.2 million for 2017. The projected growth is based on the aforementioned expansion of the winter scheduled as well as three new routes for the summer of 2017 – namely Bordeaux (France) by Volotea as well as Cluj Napoca (Romania) and Katowice (Poland) by Wizzair. Other developments for the 2017 summer months include a new airline – Eurowings – which will start operations from Vienna in April 2017 and the first Malta to Malta “Cruise & Fly” service by P&O Cruises.
Furthermore, for the first time ever, MIA also presented a set of financial targets for the upcoming 12 months. MIA is expecting to generate €73 million in revenues in 2017 which should lead to an EBITDA figure of over €40 million and a net profit of over €20 million. MIA is also budgeting €18 million for capital expenditure whilst its net debt is estimated not to exceed €14 million in 2017. Furthermore, annual taxes and dividend contributions to Government are expected to be in the region of €14 million.