On 13 June 2022, Malta International Airport plc announced that during the month of May, passenger movements increased by 8% from the previous month to 554,820 which, in turn, is only 17.7% lower than the amount of 674,101 passengers welcomed in the same period in 2019. Whilst passenger traffic recovered in line with the increase in seat capacity, the seat load factor of 81.4% achieved in May 2022 was the highest since October 2019 and even superior to the level of 80.3% recorded in May 2019. Moreover, the total number of passenger movements since the start of 2022, amounting to 1.74 million, has now reached the level of traffic recorded in all of 2020.
MIA’s top five markets in May 2022 were Italy (representing 21.8% of total passenger movements), followed by the UK, France, Germany and Poland. In this respect, the airport operator noted that although it managed to recover almost 80% of its pre-pandemic connectivity, the recovery of routes connecting Malta with the UK and Germany is taking place at a much slower pace. In fact, prior to the pandemic, both the UK and Germany used to represent a larger share of MIA’s traffic.
In its announcement, MIA also referred to a recent study conducted by Eurocontrol in which three recovery scenarios were considered also taking into account the war in Ukraine. The baseline scenario, which falls in between a more pessimistic and a more optimistic scenario, shows that a recovery to pre-pandemic figures will be achieved in 2024, as passenger confidence continues to increase, staff shortages are controlled, and the increase of energy prices and other costs have a limited impact on people’s purchasing power.