In November nearly 316,000 passengers went through Malta International Airport. This marked an increase of nearly 700% over the same month a year earlier.
In relative terms November’s activity was the best for our airport since the start of the pandemic. In fact, passenger movements were nearly two-thirds their pre-pandemic level. To give an idea of how big a turnaround this constitutes, just consider that in April we had just 6% of the passenger movements that had occured in the same month before the onset of COVID-19. In relative terms the situation in November was more than ten times better than it was in April.
There was more passenger movement during November than there was in July. More people were willing to come to Malta in November – traditionally one of the shoulder months – than there were in July – traditionally the second most important month of the tourist calendar.
There was more passenger movement during November than there was in July.
Almost 70% of seats available on flights were occupied in November. Poland appeared as one of the top five markets, with the return of flights to this country. Italy was the largest source country, followed by the UK. Germany and France were the remaining members of the top five list.
If the trend of highest tourist spending per capita seen in previous months continued in November, in all likelihood tourist expenditure in November was at three-quarters of the pre-pandemic level. This would mark a very remarkable achievement when most industry analysts were expecting tourism revenue to be at most one third of the pre-pandemic level.
What gives most hope to industry operators is that whereas in 2020, the pick up in summer activity had dissipated completely during autumn and winter, this year’s recovery has proven resilient up to now.
The onset of the new variant may put this into jeopardy, but with Malta remaining at the top of the most vaccinated countries in the world, its attractiveness as a tourist destination remains strong.