On 6 February, Malta International Airport plc published the January 2018 traffic results. Following the record passenger numbers during 2017 showing an increase of 17.5%, the airport operator kicked-off the new year with continued growth as passenger numbers grew by 16.7% during January to a record (for the month under review) of 351,550 passengers. The increased passenger traffic was due to the strong increase in both aircraft movements (+15.2%) and seat capacity (+16.8%) reflecting a number of route developments and increased flight frequencies for the winter season. Meanwhile, the seat load factor decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 71.6%.
The increase in passenger numbers for the month under review was largely due to the double-digit growth in the following five markets: UK (MIA’s largest market), Italy, Germany, France and Poland. The latter registered an 82.2% increase in passenger movements auguring well for the joint endeavours of MIA, the government and the Malta Tourism Authority to maximise the potential presented by the Eastern European market through better connections within the region.
Airports Council International (ACI) 2017 Report
The announcement also made reference to the 2017 report published on 5 February by the Airport Council International (ACI). This report indicates that MIA was one of the top five performers in 2017 in terms of full-year passenger growth amongst airports in its class (airports hosting between five and ten million passengers annually). Furthermore, MIA noted that last year’s 17.5% increase in passenger movements was the best ever annual growth rate achieved by MIA in line with ACI’s observation that 2017 was the year for European airports since 2004. MIA was also included in the list of airports that registered “impressive performance” between 2012 and 2017 along with other airports such as Amsterdam-Schiphol, Dublin and Barcelona.