According to a Eurostat report on Friday, Malta’s commercial flight numbers were down 73.5 per cent year-on-year in January, against an EU average of 68.1 per cent.
The figure, which counts passenger, freight and mail flights, reflects the damage dealt to the aviation sector as international travel was heavily impacted starting with the first wave of COVID in Europe in March.
Though it reflects the precarious situation for the aviation industry, January’s figure is far from the worst month since the beginning of the pandemic. In Malta, for the three months beginning with April, commercial flights were down more than 90 per cent.
This should be seen in the context of a commercial flight ban between March and July.
However, January 2021 is the worst month since the economy and international travel, began to open back up over summer.
Since August, Malta’s commercial flights numbers (year-on-year) have been on a general downward trend, registering drops of 45.7 per cent, 55.2 per cent, 62.7 per cent, 69.2 per cent, and 73.2 per cent in the months August – December, and January turning out to be a nadir in this sinking trend.
EU-wide, the worse impacted single airport was Munchen, which had 25,400 less international flights in January 2021 than January 2020 (-85 per cent).
The report comes as Malta International Airport revealed it handled only three days worth of passengers in the entire month of January.
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