Passenger movements through Malta International Airport (MIA) registered a drop of 64.5 % in March when compared to the same month last year.
MIA said in a statement issued on Wednesday that this drop in traffic was largely the result of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, which led to mounting travel restrictions.
These restrictions also led to decreases of 46.6% in aircraft movements and 48.1 % in seat capacity.
The Malta International Airport said that a dwindling demand for travel caused seat load factor (SLF) for the month to tumble to 55.6 % from the 81.3 % registered in March 2019.
Travel bans announced in the second week of March directly impacted four of Malta International Airport’s top five markets; Germany, -75.4%, Italy, -87.4%, France, -62.4%, Spain, -63.6% and the United Kingdom experienced a 53.5% decline in passenger numbers.
The month of March brought winter to a close for the aviation industry, with Malta International Airport welcoming over 1.9 million passengers during this season, which starts in November.
The strong growth registered in the first four months of winter partly offset the staggering decrease in traffic experienced in March, with Malta International Airport ultimately ending the season with a drop of 4.4 per cent in passenger movements over the previous winter.
MIA said that around this time of the year they would usually be preparing for the busy summer months ahead but this year they are focusing on getting through these challenging times as Malta Airport remains open solely to facilitate essential flights.