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Malta International Airport
Ajruport Internazzjonali ta' Malta
|Owner||Malta International Airport plc|
|Hub for||Air Malta|
|Focus city for||Ryanair|
|Elevation AMSL||300 ft / 91 m|
Malta International Airport (Maltese: Ajruport Internazzjonali ta' Malta, IATA: MLA, ICAO: LMML) is the only airport in Malta and it serves the whole of the Maltese Islands. It is located on island of Malta, southwest of the Maltese capital Valletta in the town of Gudja, and occupies the location of the former RAF Luqa. The airport has a single passenger terminal which became fully operational on 25 March 1992. This replaced the old Luqa terminal which is currently mostly used for cargo. The airport hosts several maintenance facilities including those operated by Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics. The airport serves as the main hub for Air Malta and Medavia besides being a base for Ryanair. It is also home to the Area Control Center and hosted the annual Malta Airshow until 2017. The airport is operated by Malta International Airport plc.
The first civil airfield was constructed at Ta' Qali, followed by others at al Far (RAF Hal Far) and Luqa.[when?] During the Second World War, the airfields at Ta' Qali and Hal Far were severely battered and civil operations subsequently centred on Luqa Airport.
The increase in passenger handling and aircraft movements necessitated the construction of a civil air terminal. Preparations started in 1956 and the British Government mainly financed what was then a Lm 300,000 project. Malta's new passenger air terminal at Luqa was inaugurated on 31 March 1958 by the then Governor of Malta Sir Robert Laycock. The air terminal consisted of two floors including some basic facilities such as a restaurant, a post office, a cable and wireless office and a viewing balcony for the public.
In October 1977, a new and longer runway was launched and works commenced on the extension and refurbishment of the air terminal. An arrivals lounge and another lounge dedicated to VIPs were added and the original part of the terminal building was used for departures.
This refurbishment was not enough as it still lacked certain essential facilities. Immediately after a change in Government in 1987, the new administration decided that the 35-year-old terminal was past its time (Luqa Terminal) and therefore gave the green light for the construction of a new air terminal along Park 9 (Now located in Gudja).
Until the construction of the new air terminal was completed, the Government embarked on a further upgrade of the old air terminal.[when?] The facilities introduced included air conditioning, new baggage carousels, flight information monitors, computerised check-in desks, a new floor surface and new retail outlets including a larger duty-free area.
The foundation stone of the present air terminal in Gudja was laid in September 1989 and it was inaugurated in record time 29 months later, in February 1992. Malta International Airport became fully operational on 25 March 1992 and the old Luqa passenger terminal was effectively closed down after 35 years.
Over the last several years, passenger numbers have been increasing, climbing from 3.5 million in 2011 to 6.0 million in 2017.  The increase in passenger numbers is mainly due to the increased number of routes served by low-cost carriers. Ryanair based one aircraft in Malta from May 2010, increasing to two in May 2012, three in March 2016, four in March 2017, five in March 2018 and further to six in April 2019. The largest aircraft visiting Malta International Airport regularly is the daily Emirates Boeing 777-300. The airport has received occasional visits by the Airbus A380, usually for repainting at one of the local maintenance facilities.
Malta International Airport air terminal operations include general passenger services, and the operation of an extensive range of retail services at the airport, airside and landside shops, restaurants and other outlets, which are all operated on concession agreements. The airport offers one VIP lounge, the La Valette Club.
The airport also leases office space to airlines and other travel related operators at the airport. Malta International Airport is a member of the ACI-EUROPE (Airports Council International) and a number of company officials sit on specialised committees and working groups within this council.
Malta International Airport has improved services for disabled and reduced mobility people to ensure an easier transit through the airport terminal to the aircraft and similarly on return.
Pilot training academies include:
The Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta is based at Malta International Airport. The Air Wing terminal consists of six hangars. The Air Wing operates a total of 8 fixed-wing aircraft and 6 helicopters as well as manning a pair of Italian Air Force helicopters used for search-and-rescue.
Located within the grounds of Malta International Airport, the Business Centre is the first building in Malta to have applied for BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) to become the island's first Grade A office park. The head office of Air Malta is at Level 2 of the Skyparks Business Centre.
The Malta Airport MetOffice is part of the Malta International Airport and provides the function of a national meteorological service for Malta. Although they primarily serve aviation they also service the public sector. All equipment, other than the Doppler Weather Radar, is enhanced by automatic weather stations, of which eight are situated in Malta and Gozo. At the same time an aerodrome weather observation system is located at the airport. The MetOffice is able to get information from the Agencia Estatal de Meteorología in Madrid and the UK's Met Office along with numerical weather models such as those provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, England.
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Malta:
|Aegean Airlines||Seasonal: Athens|
|Air Malta|| Amsterdam, BerlinTegel, Brussels, Cairo (begins 1 September 2019), Casablanca, Catania, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, KievBoryspil, Lisbon, LondonGatwick, LondonHeathrow, Lyon, MilanLinate, MoscowSheremetyevo, Munich, Palermo, ParisCharles de Gaulle, ParisOrly, Prague, RomeFiumicino, St. Petersburg, Tel AvivBen Gurion, Tunis, Vienna, Zürich |
Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, Cagliari, Geneva, Ibiza (begins 16 August 2019), Leipzig/Halle, London-Southend, Lourdes, Manchester, Málaga, Marseille, Venice, WarsawChopin
Seasonal charter: Tbilisi (begins 4 July 2019)
|Air Serbia||Seasonal: Belgrade|
|Atlantic Airways||Seasonal: Vágar|
|Czech Airlines||Seasonal: Prague|
|easyJet|| LondonGatwick, LondonSouthend, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne|
Seasonal: MilanMalpensa, Naples
|easyJet Switzerland||Seasonal: Geneva|
|Iberia Express||Seasonal: Madrid|
|Jet2.com|| LondonStansted, Manchester |
Seasonal: BelfastInternational, Birmingham, East Midlands, GlasgowInternational, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle upon Tyne
|Medavia|| Seasonal: Palermo |
|Norwegian Air Shuttle||Seasonal: Copenhagen, OsloGardermoen|
|Ryanair (to become Malta Air)|| AmmanQueen Alia, Athens, Barcelona, Bari, Beauvais, Bergamo, BerlinSchönefeld, Billund, Birmingham, Bologna, Bournemouth, Bratislava, Bristol, Budapest, Cardiff, Catania, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Cork, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Exeter, Gdask, Kraków, Lamezia Terme, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, LondonLuton, LondonStansted, Luxembourg, Maastricht, Manchester, Madrid, Marseille, Nantes, Naples, Nuremberg, Paphos (begins 27 October 2019), Perugia, Pescara, Pisa, Porto, Poznan, Riga, RomeFiumicino, Sandefjord, Santiago de Compostela (begins 29 October 2019), Seville, StockholmSkavsta, Tallinn, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Treviso, Trieste (begins 27 October 2019), Turin, Valencia, Vilnius, Wrocaw |
Seasonal: Aberdeen, BelfastInternational, Girona, Gothenburg, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden
|Scandinavian Airlines|| StockholmArlanda |
|Swiss International Air Lines||Seasonal: Zürich|
|Thomas Cook Airlines||Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, LondonGatwick, Manchester|
|Transavia France||Seasonal: Nantes, ParisOrly|
|TUI Airways|| Manchester |
Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, LondonGatwick
|TUI fly Deutschland||Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn|
|Volotea||Seasonal: Bilbao, Bordeaux, Genoa, Nice, Verona|
|Wizz Air|| Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, ClujNapoca, Debrecen, Katowice, Skopje, Sofia, WarsawChopin |
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled||Airlines||% Change (vs 2016)|
|1||London Gatwick Airport||379,000||Air Malta, British Airways, EasyJet, Thomas Cook Airlines, TUI Airways||9.7|
|2||Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport||313,000||Air Malta, Alitalia, Ryanair||1.0|
|3||Frankfurt Airport||300,000||Air Malta, Lufthansa||11.0|
|4||Catania Airport||289,000||Air Malta, Ryanair||53.4|
|5||Brussels Airport||240,000||Air Malta, Ryanair||109.6|
|6||Munich Airport||215,000||Air Malta, Lufthansa, Niki||44.0|
|7||Manchester Airport||215,000||Air Malta, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, TUI Airways||0.1|
|8||London Heathrow Airport||193,000||Air Malta||2.5|
|9||Istanbul Atatürk Airport||150,000||Turkish Airlines||12.8|
|10||Paris Orly Airport||126,000||Air Malta, Transavia France||0.9|
|Rank||Airline||Passengers||% Change (vs 2015)|
Malta International Airport is served also by several buses operated by private transportation groups and public transport operated by Malta Public Transport. Malta Public Transport buses serve the airport. A mixture of Express and local services are available.
The airport is located 5 km (3.1 mi) southwest of the capital, Valletta.
Media related to Malta International Airport at Wikimedia Commons