Sharp drop in airport traffic in September

Miguela Xuereb

Passenger traffic through the Malta International Airport in September was barely half the figures registered in the previous month, with just 128,664 passenger movements taking place.

As might be expected, the drop in passenger traffic is even more significant – 83.1% – when compared to the same month in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. But a slight recovery registered in August – when passenger numbers had increased by 64.9% over the previous month – has been effectively nullified.

Malta faced increasing travel restrictions in August as a second wave of the pandemic erupted in full force, easily surpassing the numbers registered in the first, and September traffic reflected this new reality.

When compared to September 2019, aircraft movements and seat capacity last month decreased by 57.9% and 59.9% respectively. The seat load factor nevertheless registered a drop of 49.9 percentage points to stand at 36.3%.

The top markets for the month of September were Germany (-71.4%), Italy (-83.1%), the UK (-89.2%), France (-73.1%) and Austria (-55.4%).