Nearly 500 flights to Malta canceled because travel restrictions ‘destroy consumer confidence’

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‘Uncoordinated’ travel restrictions across Europe have resulted in a major slowdown in air travel to and from Malta, with 480 flights slated to operate over the next few weeks, canceled or postponed.

As Europe rolls out mitigation measures to tackle another wave of COVID-19 hitting a number of countries, Malta International Airport Director General Alan Borg told the Malta timetables that the trends emerging for the first quarter of 2022 were already worrying.

“The mix of uncoordinated travel restrictions across Europe is disrupting passengers and destroying consumer confidence in air travel, leaving airports and airlines to bear the brunt of hasty and random decisions,” Borg said.

Travelers typically reserve around 246,000 seats on 87 routes to and from Malta during the holiday season. However, this season does not seem to be able to reach these usual milestones.

And Malta’s national airline has not escaped the fallout from the new measures, either.

“Air Malta experienced a slowdown in new bookings and received a number of travel cancellations during the holiday period in January. “

Air Malta is processing around 2,000 cancellation refund requests in December alone, and around 2,000 more in November.

In total, since the start of the pandemic, Air Malta has processed around 300,000 ticket refund requests, reimbursing around € 32 million.

“Most of the cancellations come from places that have called for a lockdown or where cases are skyrocketing,” he said.

Worrisome signs from the travel industry, a vital sector for Malta, have led some to call for stronger global leadership and a solid plan to ensure its survival.

Valletta Cultural Agency President Jason Micallef warned that if the aviation industry was affected, a follow-up effect would occur, with everything from the hospitality industry to hotels, restaurants, ocean liners. cruises, taxis, cleaning companies and many more as well.

What do you think of the slowdown in travel to Malta as the pandemic returns once again?


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