On 7 February, Malta International Airport plc published the January 2017 traffic results. Following the record passenger numbers during 2016, the airport operator kicked-off the new year with continued growth as passenger numbers during January grew by 27.3% year-on-year to a record of 301,289 passengers – indeed the first time that MIA exceeded the 300,000 passenger mark in January. The increased passenger traffic was due to the strong increase in both aircraft movements (+22.1%) and seat capacity (+27.7%) particularly reflecting enhanced connectivity with the German, Spanish and Italian markets. Moreover, the seat load factor increased by 1 percentage point to 72.7%.
The UK, Italy and Germany were the top three markets in January whereby each registered double-digit growth. Belgium and Spain – the fourth and fifth top markets – also contributed positively to the increased traffic movement last month. The Company also noted that following the introduction of added flight frequencies, the newly added Catania Fontanarossa International Airport established itself as one of the top five airports.
Early in January 2017, MIA announced that it 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 schedule as well as three new routes for the summer of 2017.