A step in the right direction for Malta’s Tourism Industry

Malta Tourism Authority welcomes the great news that the Malta International Airport welcomed a total of 418,473 passengers in September, which also marked the first time, since 1999, that September outpaced August in terms of passenger traffic, and the strongest month, in terms of passenger volumes, since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Seat-occupancy levels also remained below pre-pandemic levels, as airlines carried passengers to and from the airport at an average seat load factor of just over 70%.

The recent news published by the Malta International Airport is truly encouraging for the local tourism sector. Notwithstanding the challenging times, Malta managed to strike a balance between the lives and livelihoods of the Maltese people. We will continue working hard to assure that the hospitality industry continues to recover and assure that Malta becomes a home of tourism excellence for the years to come,” remarked Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo.

This is great news for Malta, especially given the circumstances which we all have had to live with in the past months, and naturally, it fills us, as an Authority, with a strong sense of positivity, coupled with the right amount of energy, to look forward to ending 2021 and starting 2022 with further positive results. I believe that our marketing efforts, together with the €20m-strong Tourism Recovery Plan which we have laid out together with the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection, as well as, the excellent way in which the Health Authorities have handled, and are still handling the pandemic, all played a crucial role in the positive results which we have seen for September. This is also another example of just how important it is for all stakeholders to work together for the greater good, when faced with such an unprecedented crisis,” MTA CEO Johann Buttigieg said.

Malta International Airport also reported that the United Kingdom retained its spot as the top driver of passenger traffic as it continues its path of recovery, with over 108,000 passengers departing or arriving from this destination in September, followed by the Italian, German, French and Spanish markets.

A word of thanks must go to our marketing teams at Head Office, and our teams across Europe and the world for being resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, working closely with the management, as one big team, and adapting to the ever-changing situation of the pandemic across various countries and regions. We have used the pandemic to reinvent our marketing strategy, investing in digital media campaigns, to make people feel close to the Maltese Islands, even during the strictest of lockdowns. This has paid off, and is paying off, with the encouraging results which we are seeing. I am sure that with regards to the UK market, we will continue to see further improvement, especially with restrictions being eased further in the UK,” MTA Deputy CEO and Chief Marketing Officer, Carlo Micallef added.

Article credits: https://www.mta.com.mt/en/news-details/327
MTA Wins Big In London’s Travel Industry Awards

The Malta Tourism Authority has once again been awarded the ‘Tourist Board of the Year’ Award at the prestigious Travel Industry Awards 2021 by TTG held in London. This is the fourth time that this prestigious award was won by the MTA after successfully clinching the trophy in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021.

The Travel Industry Awards by TTG, in association with Virgin Atlantic, brought the travel community together to celebrate the businesses that have grown stronger through the Covid-19 crisis, and helped to highlight the most trusted travel brands for consumers.

In a year of setbacks and challenges for travel, companies and individuals have been tested to their limits. Yet rather than lose heart, they have faced the pandemic and fought back, supporting their customers, and proving their steadfastness, adaptability and innovative thinking.

“I am so pleased that MTA UK & Ireland were named Tourist Board of the Year 2021 at the TTG Travel Industry Awards this week. The team have worked hard with our trade partners and travel agents throughout the past 18 months to train them up on Malta, Gozo and Comino and what we have to offer their clients. Our work with our trade partners despite the difficult situation was ongoing, robust and agile and the team have overcome many hurdles to ensure our relationships stay strong and have endured the hard times. I could not be prouder that their hard work has been recognised and want to thank them for their ongoing dedication to promoting our beautiful islands,” Tolene Van Der Merwe, Director of the MTA UK Office stated.

“Having the Malta Tourism Authority receiving such an important award is of sterling news for the hospitality industry. Considering the challenges of kickstarting a tourism industry that was hit by the worst crisis in history, it can be said that tourism traffic to the Maltese Islands progressively improved week after week and numbers are growing still even though the traditional peak of summer has now passed. In the light of this encouraging results, I would like to congratulate MTA’s Director in the UK and her hardworking team for doing their part in strengthening Malta’s touristic prospects in the UK market. The perseverance and commitment displayed in the past months is a pure showcase of how the Malta Tourism Authority is turning challenges into new opportunities for the years to come,” remarked Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo.

“We are extremely proud of the UK market team in London and in Malta who have once again proven to share the same resilience, determination and work ethic which has become somewhat synonymous with the Maltese people, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two teams have worked hard to keep Malta and Gozo on top of mind with the UK trade and public throughout the pandemic to make the recovery phase as fast as possible. It is these qualities that have made our UK office shine through once again during this year’s Travel Industry Awards. We look forward to continuing our work in the United Kingdom, which is Malta’s biggest market after the positive start that we have had, despite all the challenges,” Carlo Micallef, Deputy CEO and Chief Marketing Officer of the MTA stated.

Article credits: https://www.mta.com.mt/en/news-details/325
Air Malta launches new website and booking engine

Air Malta has re-launched its popular website airmalta.com, and upgraded its internet booking engine as part of wide-ranging initiatives to transform its digital ecosystem.

“With a fresh, clean, intuitive, modern design and navigation layout, the site is optimised for a better user experience with components of personalisation depending on customer preferences, such as country of residence and preferred language”, Malta’s national carrier said in an announcement on Monday.

The website and booking engine are now fully integrated with the airline’s customer relationship management platform giving Air Malta a 360-degree view of its online customers that will assist it in offering personalised offers and best fares depending on previous purchases and booking preferences.

The redesigned website offers customers an array of increased capabilities and services that include features to plan holidays, manage bookings, check-in online and buy ancillary items including inflight menu products and boutique items that will be delivered on board. The site also allows users to book car hire and hotel accommodation in Malta and throughout the airline’s network through its partners as well as holiday packages through ‘Air Malta Holidays’.

Commenting on this launch, Air Malta’s Executive Chairman David G Curmi said, “We are very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. After months of hard work and dedication, we are delighted to deliver a customer experience that is faster, more intuitive, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly. The website incorporates a refreshed new look and features which will enhance the overall experience whether accessed from desktop, mobile or any tablet device. This platform will now enable us to launch our first mobile app and a redesigned Loyalty Programme in the coming months.”

Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer Roy Kinnear added, “Online services have today become indispensable tools to showcase one’s products and services and facilitate sales. This project’s aim was simple: to offer an outstanding user experience when browsing and booking through our website. We wanted the site to be the best in class, with simple and clear navigation by personalising the user experience through appropriate content and offers.

“The website showcases the Maltese Islands through its ‘Discover’ section which is full of interesting articles and information about the Maltese Islands. This section also incorporates the digital edition of the airline’s monthly inflight magazine ‘Il-Bizzilla’ Mr Kinnear added.

Wayne Grixti, Air Malta’s Chief Technology Officer added, “Digitalisation and modernisation are strategically important for the Airline in its journey to become sustainable. Our main goal is to leverage technology to provide the Airline with a set of tools required to ultimately serve our Customers in a digitally secure environment and make their online experience unique. This digital ecosystem initiative is a proof that Air Malta’s mindset is Customer First”.

airmalta.com attracts around five million visitors every year, the national carrier revealed. The website is available in seven languages (Maltese, English, German, Italian, French, Russian, and Dutch).

The application of new technologies will facilitate future upgrades including a unified check-in experience, integration of the loyalty programme, online shop for ancillary products, a B2B portal and a mobile app.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/air-malta-launches-new-website-and-booking-engine

 

Malta International Airport Figures Suggest Hopeful Turn Around For Tourism

Over 300,000 passengers travelled through Malta International Airport in July, giving some hope to the island’s struggling tourism sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month’s traffic through the country’s international airport totalled 311,692 passenger movements which subsequently recouped 39% of July 2019 traffic levels, new figures show.

This may not sound like much but it’s a steady increase that the country needs to slowly recover from the extensive economic damage that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the satisfactory numeral ascent, the numbers show that Malta is recovering at a slower pace than its Southern European counterparts whose recovery rate for July averaged at 57%, according to the Airports Council International data.

However, seat capacity stationed on routes to and from Malta was only 35.5% below 2019 levels. It currently stands at 52.6% compared to 87.0% in July 2019.

Travel opportunities also continued to improve throughout the month as Malta added two brand-new routes to the summer schedule; Chania and Cagliari.

July also saw the return of the United Kingdom among Malta International Airport’s top five markets following the easing of travel restrictions between the two countries.

An industry assessment issued by Eurocontrol on 22 July also found that European traffic was increasing with domestic travel still dominating passenger traffic.

The Malta International Airport is the island’s only air terminal and last year, it hosted more than seven million passengers, the majority being inbound tourists.

These figures come amidst a slight ease on travel restrictions that allows unvaccinated persons to travel to the island under the condition of a 14-day quarantine and the reauthorisation of fully-vaccinated English language students.

Read the full article here: https://lovinmalta.com/malta/malta-international-airport-figures-for-july-suggest-hopeful-turn-around-for-tourism/
Celebrating the re-opening of the airport

To celebrate the Malta International Airport’s re-opening to commercial flights, a special event has been organized today, together with Sound Salon, G7 Events and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Sounds like Malta” will feature electronic artist and disc jockey LEX together with their airport ambassadors Joe Roscoe and Nicola Said, the renowned local soprano.

Let’s travel again… safely!

Malta’s airport is set to partially reopen on 1st July and fully on 15th July, but the travelling experience will change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with the recommendations of local and international authorities,  the Malta International Airport shall be introducing the necessary measures, invested in new technologies, and re-trained their front-liners to allow you to feel safe and secure every step of the way from check-in to boarding.

Below are a list of efforts taken to safeguard passengers to and from Malta:

1. Masks or visors are obligatory

Masks or visors must be worn at all times inside the terminal, with exceptions made for children under six years old and people with a valid medical condition. The airport recommends that you change your mask every four hours and that you pack enough masks in your hand luggage for your entire trip, including the time spent on the plane and the airport of destination. Refuse containers for the disposal of face masks and gloves will be provided.

2. Rigorous cleaning procedures

Airport staff will clean and disinfect the terminal more frequently and intensively, especially surfaces that are regularly touched such as buttons and handles, while alcohol-based hand sanitisers will also be available at strategic spots. The airport also recommends that you being your own 100ml hand sanitising gel bottle with you, which can also be carried through security.

3. No non-travellers allowed inside

Only travellers will be allowed inside the airport, which means that any goodbyes must be said outside. Exemptions will be made in special circumstances, such as for people who need to drop off or pick up a minor or a person with reduced mobility.

4. New social distancing signage

Signage and floor markings will be installed at check-in, security, departure, arrival and baggage reclaim areas and at outlets and restrooms to ensure passengers keep two metres away from each other. The airport is advising passengers to arrive at least two hours before their flight and has warned that security checks and boarding processes may take longer than usual.

Seating has also been reorganised for the purposes of social distancing, with unavailable seating clearly marked.

5. No smoking allowed

Smokers must take their last cigarette before their flight outside the terminal because smoking has been banned on the terraces. This is in line with health guidelines that forbid smoking outdoors at restaurants and bars on the grounds that people are being encouraged to sit outside where possible and that they therefore shouldn’t be exposed to cigarette smoke.

7. A new airport ‘care team’

A number of airport staff have been assembled and trained to act as a ‘care team’. Wearing easily identifiable light blue vests, their job will be to roam the airport, advise passengers on the new rules and ensure said rules are being observed.

8. Thermal screening cameras and tech to detect large groups

The airport has invested heavily in new technology, with thermal screening cameras intended to detect any passengers having a high temperature, over and above the temperature checks that will be carried out before they enter the airport. Meanwhile, agglomeration detection technology will alert the airport in real-time if passengers gather in large groups. Malta recently removed all limitations on public gatherings and the airport hasn’t yet explained how this new technology will be used.

9. New rules for the La Valette lounge

Members of the VIP La Valette lounge must book their stay here at least 24 hours before their trip so as to allow the airport to ascertain that social distancing requirements can be met. Guests can take off their masks or visors while at the lounge, while buffets have been replaced by waiter service. Newspapers, magazines and iPads will be unavailable to limit passengers’ contact with surfaces.

The airport will partially reopen on 1st July, with flights operating to and from Italy (except Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, and Piemonte), France (except Ile de France), Spain (except Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, and Castilla y Leon in Spain), Poland (except Katowice), Iceland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Czechia, Ireland, and Finland.

Travellers arriving directly from the countries and regions on this list will not be required to observe a 14-day quarantine but will be asked to declare that they had lived in the country of origin for at least four weeks prior to travelling. Guests will also be asked to fill in a passenger locator form, which would enable the health authorities to trace them swiftly should the need arise.

On 15th July, Malta’s airport is set to open to all destinations without restrictions.

Malta Will Lift Public Health Emergency On 30th June

Malta has set a date for when it will lift its public health emergency, along with other COVID-19 restrictions.

A legal notice signed by Health Minister Chris Fearne, along with Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci, has set 30th of June as the date when Malta will officially repeal its public health emergency.

The legal notice also repeals the closure of schools, suspension of organised events and the 75 person ban on public gatherings.

However, schools are expected to reopen in September as usual.

MALTA International Airport to open its doors soon

The airport will partially reopen on 1st July, with flights operating to and from Italy (except Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, and Piemonte), France (except Ile de France), Spain (except Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, and Castilla y Leon in Spain), Poland (except Katowice), Iceland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Czechia, Ireland, and Finland.

Travellers arriving directly from the countries and regions on this list will not be required to observe a 14-day quarantine but will be asked to declare that they had lived in the country of origin for at least four weeks prior to travelling. Guests will also be asked to fill in a passenger locator form, which would enable the health authorities to trace them swiftly should the need arise.

Airport reopening date to be announced in the coming days

As insider-information reaches The Times of Malta yesterday regarding the Malta International Airport to start operating again on the 15th of July, neither Prime Minister Robert Abela nor Superintendant for Public Health, Charmaine Gauci, have confirmed this.

Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said The Prime Minister will announce the airport reopening date in the coming days. Last Saturday, the government announced the extension of the travel ban until at least June 15, but sources told Times of Malta that the authorities are expected to extend it by another month to make sure all precautions are in place to try to contain the virus.

What has definitely been confirmed by Malta Airport CEO Alan Borg, is that MIA will have to operate with limited winter and summer schedules. To be exact, around 70 of the 120 winter 2020/2021 routes have now been cancelled, as well as some 60 of the 144 summer 2021 routes.

 

 

 

 

 

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