Malta Air has announced five new routes taking off from this summer to Brindisi, Cagliari, Genoa, and Trapani in Italy, as well as Chania in Greece. Additionally, it has said the first of its liveried aircraft will arrive in the country in May.

Making the announcement at a press conference held at Malta International Airport’s departures terminal, also attended by Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo, Malta Air CEO David O’Brien said that the airline and its parent company Ryanair look forward to welcoming customers back to “sunny and safe” Malta.

As of summer, he said, it is expected that Ryanair will have 57 Malta routes in total, with 19 of those going into the UK.

This will make Malta one of Ryanair’s top 10 destinations this summer, he stated.

Ryanair expects to operate 155 weekly flights through Malta, and Mr O’Brien revealed that the airline is experiencing an uptick in bookings, suggesting pent up demand.

As things stand, Ryanair, via Malta Air, has six aircraft based in Malta, a number which is expected to reach 10 by 2022. The airline is responsible for 180 local crew jobs.

Ryanair is expected to open six new bases this summer, and importantly, according to Mr O’Brien, two of the Ryanair Group’s Maltese airlines, Malta Air and Lauda will open three of these.

He emphasises that Malta has become “a very important home” for the Ryanair Group.

Looking to the future, he says “Malta is on track” in terms of its COVID recovery, making it a “unique destination in Europe”.

On his part, Mr Barolo described “a surreal experience in the departures lounge”, as it was practically empty, which is “not what we want to see”, and emphasised that re-establishing air connectivity is a key priority of the Government.

The aviation sector will "start its recovery in a gradual, responsible, and above all sustainable manner”, he emphasised.

The announcement comes as Malta International Airport has revealed a provisional schedule for this summer, depicting direct flights to 32 countries.

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