Monarch to Launch Links to Malta

UK leisure carrier Monarch is to add the Mediterranean island of Malta to its European scheduled route network during summer 2013 with a new direct link from East Midlands.  The flights will operate on a twice weekly basis from May 7, 2013 and will build on Monarch’s network of scheduled destinations from East Midlands, which were introduced in August this year.  This will be the first time the carrier has offered scheduled air services to Malta, although the carrier did previously offer scheduled charters in 1989 and 1990 from London’s Gatwick and Luton airports.

“Malta is a completely new scheduled destination for Monarch and we are sure that it will be a popular choice for our customers in the Midlands,” Kevin George, Managing Director, Monarch.  “We are delighted to be expanding our summer 2013 flights programme from East Midlands Airport with this brand new route for the airline which provides our customers with even more flexibility and choice.”

The arrival of Monarch in this market follows the closure this year of low-cost carrier bmibaby.  The budget carrier introduced flights between East Midlands and Malta in May 2010 and operated the route up until September this year.  These services complement the seasonal summer links on the route of Thomas Cook Airlines.

“As soon as MTA received indications that there was going to be a gap in the market at East Midlands it collaborated with Malta Airport to find an alternative operator from this route. MTA is sure that Monarch will find this to be another successful operation,” said Josef Formosa Gauci, Chief Executive Officer, Malta Tourism Authority.

According to official statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) 29,965 passengers flew between East Midlands and Malta in 2011, up 34.0 per cent on the previous year.  Scheduled services were first introduced on the route by Astraeus Airlines in May 2003, while Air Malta provided the first year-round scheduled links with weekly flights between February 2005 and April 2007.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Monarch’s new flight from East Midlands to our beautiful islands. It is indeed of great satisfaction for us to add another airline operating to the UK, our largest market,” said Markus Klaushofer, Chief Executive Officer, Malta Airport.  “I am sure that Monarch‘s passengers will find Malta attractive and we look forward to a fruitful relationship with the airline to ensure a long-term success in their operation to and from these islands.”

In the table below we highlight air passenger demand on the East Midlands – Malta route since the turn of the Millennium, based on official data from the UK CAA.  After a decline since 2003 this market has shown growth in the last two years, thanks in a big part to the scheduled services of bmibaby.  Last year’s passenger total represented the highest figure during the analysis period, up 3.2 per cent on the previous high in 2003 although still down on the plus 30,000 passengers that were being carried in the 1990s.

SCHEDULED AIR PASSENGER DEMAND BETWEEN EAST MIDLANDS AND MALTA (terminal passengers)

Year

Scheduled Passenger

Charter Passengers

Total Passengers

% Change

2000

-

26,507

26,507

(-28.0) %

2001

-

23,606

23,606

(-10.9) %

2002

-

25,505

25,505

8.0 %

2003

5,042

23,994

29,036

13.8 %

2004

-

25,312

25,312

(-12.8) %

2005

8,658

16,155

24,813

(-2.0) %

2006

7,478

17,601

25,079

1.1 %

2007

833

17,767

18,600

(-25.8) %

2008

-

18,598

18,598

0.0 %

2009

-

11,720

11,720

(-37.0) %

2010

12,644

9,722

22,366

90.8 %

2011

18,530

11,435

29,965

34.0 %