A new Malta-based airline, Universal Air, has began its regional travel operations through the launch of its online booking system and mobile application.

The new airline is positioning itself as a cost-efficient carrier that provides premium economy service, and in the coming weeks will begin its services to Athens, Corfu, Pécs, Munich, Palermo and Ibiza. A further schedule is also planned with more new routes planned throughout 2024.

Universal Air is equipped with a fleet of Dash 8 aircraft, which feature 78-seater cabins feature leather seating in pairs, and passengers will benefit from an all-inclusive 15kg luggage allowance.

Universal Air’s CEO, Simon Cook, says: “Our ambition is to lead a renaissance in air travel, becoming the preferred airline for modern travellers seeking value and convenience.”

The airline is not entirely new to Malta’s aviation sector, having provided charter and cargo services for many years from its base at Malta International Airport.

Over the past two years, the aviation industry has wasted no time in making up for the major disruption caused by the pandemic. In 2023, dubbed by some travel industry experts as ‘the year of the tourist’, Malta was among several European countries that exceeded tourism records set in 2019.

During the pandemic, Malta’s air connectivity took a big hit as airlines cut routes which were not deemed profitable, and for a time were prevented from flying in general.

A recent analysis carried out by Senior Economist Kurt Sant at the Central Bank of Malta found that since the pandemic, the island’s connectivity has almost caught up – when factoring indirect connections – but a lack of competition on certain routes and countries may be leading to higher prices.

Could the entry of a new player on the market competing on specific routes with airlines lead to a normalisation of prices on those routes?


Main Image:

Read Next: Placeholder