Seven airlines cancel 278 Malta flights over Coronavirus fears

9th March 2020

Malta International Airport still registered over 421,000 passenger movements in February.

“To date, seven airlines have already cancelled 278 flights from Italy and other markets,” remarked Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg in a press release to announce passenger movements for February 2020.

A spokesperson for MIA further confirmed that seven airlines have cancelled 278 flights to Malta from Italy and other markets

Traffic through Malta International Airport totalled 421,567 passenger movements in February, translating into growth of 17.3 per cent over the same month last year.

The 29th of February provided for an additional day of operations, boosting the month’s total traffic with 16,986 passenger movements.

The top drivers of traffic for the month were the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France and Spain, with all markets, except for Germany (-5.0 per cent), registering varying levels of growth.

Despite February’s overall traffic result being a positive one, seat load factors (SLF), particularly on Italian routes, bore the brunt of the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe and declining travel demand, with significant drops being registered in the last week of the month.

The seat load factor for the month of February, which measures the occupancy of seats available on flights operated to and from Malta International Airport, stood at 75.8 per cent.

“The Covid-19 outbreak is putting aviation and tourism stakeholders across the globe to the test, as passenger demand for air travel plummets and airlines cut capacity across the board. The last week of February at Malta International Airport gave us but a small taste of what lies ahead; we are now bracing ourselves for two challenging months. To date, seven airlines have already cancelled 278 flights from Italy and other markets,” said Malta International Airport Chief Executive Officer Alan Borg.

Mr Borg went on to highlight that the company’s focus right now is on the safety and wellbeing of its guests, employees working on the airport campus, and the general public.

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