Here’s how we set up the Xwejni salt pans in Gozo for a French group of 300 people on the 6th of May.
The salt pans in Gozo’s northerly coast just up from Marsalforn are a transfixing landmark and of vital importance, upholding an ancient trade and skill, whilst harvesting one of Gozo’s important natural raw materials – Salt. The salt pans are ingrained in the Gozitan tradition of sea salt production, a custom that has been passed down within local families for generations. During the summer months, locals can be seen scraping off salt crystals from the rock face, all collected, processed and packaged by hand!
The Phoenicians formed these salt pans to create the highly coveted salt mineral. The pans were later renovated by the Romans and then propagated by the Gozitans. This site is believed to be the world’s oldest working salt pans. Sea water fills the crevices in coastline and is left to settle for eight days. Then, it is moved to smaller salt pans that are warmer and further away from the sea. The salt crystals give a reddish hue in the beginning of the drying process as they begin to form.
Xwejni’s salt pans chequerboard pattern and shimmering mirrored reflective pools are always a dynamic sight to behold. Spanning several kilometres across Gozo’s northern coast. Today they are divided between 3 salt farmers. The intricate formation of shallow square pools and larger feeder pools.
Malta Airport to invest €40m in new apron and taxiway
A new apron is to be developed at Malta International Airport to handle future growth, MIA said.
The €40 million project was given the go-ahead by the board of directors of Malta International Airport on Tuesday.
The Apron X project will see the development of an area measuring around 100,000 square metres, which is roughly comparable to the size of 14 football pitches. It will significantly improve the airport’s aircraft parking capacity and its ability to better handle mixed-fleet operations, particularly during peak hours in summer.
Apron X will be able to accommodate up to seven medium-size aircraft or three larger ones.
The airport has an additional 20 stands for aircraft on Aprons 8 and 9.
At this critical juncture, we have the responsibility to start taking long-term decisions, even if they may appear to be at odds with the current aviation environment, that will determine the future of the local tourism industry. Today’s approval of the Apron X investment is Malta International Airport’s strongest statement yet about its confidence in the industry’s ability to recover to pre-pandemic levels, as well as its potential to grow further and achieve new records,” said Malta International Airport Chief Executive Officer Alan Borg.
The project will include a taxiway to the new apron, and a staging area housing facilities for ground handling operations.
The Apron X project is also envisaged to support Malta International Airport in honouring its environmental commitments through the construction of a 10,000sq metre reservoir for better rainwater harvesting and the installation of LED floodlighting systems.
Additionally, the project will provide for preparatory works for the electrification of parking stands, in line with a European Union plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project will supply parked aircraft with an electricity supply.
Works on the project are expected to commence in the coming weeks once the local Planning Authority issues a permit. While the company is eyeing the start of summer 2024 for the completion and utilisation of the first parking stands, the full project is expected to be concluded in 2026.
Article credits: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/malta-airport-to-invest-40m-in-new-apron-and-taxiway.936383New direct routes for Zagreb, Croatia & Parma, Italy
Malta International Airport (MIA) welcomed the first two flights from Zagreb and Parma, which will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout winter by Lauda Europe and Malta Air respectively, both of which are part of Ryanair Holdings. While Italy is one of Malta International Airport’s most popular markets, connected by flights to 16 out of its 20 regions, the Zagreb route is the first direct link between Malta and Croatia.
The capital of Croatia is characterised by red-roofed buildings, narrow cobbled streets snaking through the old Upper Town, and grand architecture dating to the times of the Habsburgs dominating the busier Lower Town. While the city brims with charm and activity all year, as Christmas rolls around, Zagreb’s festive attire and renowned street markets heighten its appeal as a winter destination.
By venturing just outside the city, visitors can also enjoy a spot of adventure down one of Mount Medvednica’s five ski runs. Other interesting places which are easily reachable from Zagreb and ideal for a day trip include Plitvice Lakes, which turn into a winter wonderland after snowfall, the sleepy town of Rastoke, and Karlovac where one of Croatia’s top beers is brewed.
While Croatia’s go-to tipple is beer, with the country producing 90% of all beer sold locally, Parma is well known for Lambrusco wine, Parmesan and prosciutto, making it a top destination for artisanal food tours. The time spent sampling Parma’s satisfying delicacies can be balanced with sighteeing tours of the city’s stunning monuments, including the Romanesque Cathedral and the medieval baptistery, both of which boast splendid frescoes, Palazzo della Pilotta, and the wooden Teatro Farnese.
Visitors can discover more of the Emilia-Romagna region by travelling to Bologna and Modena, both of which are a train ride of just under an hour away from Parma. The area between these two cities is often dubbed ‘Motor Valley’ due to a concentration of manufacturers of luxury cars and motorbikes, the likes of Ferrari and Ducati. Travellers who are more impressed by the sounds of opera than the purrs of fast cars will be happy to know that Modena also gave birth to Luciano Pavarotti, where his house has been turned into a museum.
Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/malta-international-airport-announces-new-direct-routes-for-zagreb-croatia-parma-italyAir 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/
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.1st July official opening of airport and port
It’s official our airport and port will open up to incoming tourism as of the 1st of July 2020.
A handful of destinations have been selected, however the official list is expected to be released at the press conference held by the Prime Minister, this evening.
We look forward to welcoming you on our island very soon!