Malta International Airport has identified Madrid, Barcelona, Girona and Lisbon as appropriate points from which to increase tourism to Malta. The Ryanair saga continues as the cheapest airline slammed the Maltese protective policies a joke. For those of you who are not following the issue closely, what is happening is that the MIA will pinpoint the so-called “underserved routes” then a call will be made for airlines to provide transport to Malta on such routes. These airlines will benefit from lesser airport fees and such benefits should pass on to the consumer – the persons flying to such underserved routes (more likely to be from).Where does the Maltese traveller figure in all this? Well, he or she still pays that wonderful departure tax. Secondly, in calculating the “underserved route” the only consideration is places from which we do not get enough tourism (according to MIA). Nobody asks…. Where do the Maltese want to fly cheaply to today? Nope. The institutions paid for by YOUR tax money are busy making decisions about cheaper flights for other people (mainly all the Spanish who want to fly to Malta for a bit of sun – stop laughing) while makng your flights more difficult.
Here is what Ryanair had to say about this protective polcy planning…
Of the four earmarked destinations, Ryanair currently flies only to Girona, Mr Cawley (Ryanair chef operating officer) said. “We are working on the possible introduction of the Girona route but the routes offered are anything but ideal for Ryanair.” He accused the Maltese air authorities of behaving as though they were still living in the 1960s and said they had failed to take on board the open skies phenomenon that was revolutionising air travel. It was evident, he said, that MIA and the government were doing their utmost to protect existing airlines.
* Doubts have been shed on Ryanair’s capability of fulfilling their promise of flying in 1 million passengers to tourism dry Malta. Here is one interesting statistic: Last month Ryanair flew their 10 millionth passenger into Glasgow Prestwick since 1994. Since 1999 they fly 2 million passengers per annum into Glasgow. Mui bien…no?