The impact of low cost airline operations to Malta

In 2006 the controversial step was undertaken by the Maltese government to provide incentives for new routes with the intention of attracting low cost carriers to fly to the Islands. This paper examines the impact that low cost airline operations are likely to have on the volume and profile of passengers visiting Malta. The focus is on whether the low cost carriers are merely facilitating existing custom in terms of tourism flows, or whether they are attracting a different kind of visitor. The analysis uses data from a number of air transport and tourism sources and concentrates on the UK; the largest tourist market and where the low cost carriers are likely to have the greatest impact. Initially the effects of low cost carriers to date are examined and then there is an assessment of the longer-term impacts investigating recent developments of other low cost routes from the UK. The evidence shows that traffic to Malta increased significantly in 2007 but these additional travellers do not seem to be more interested in history or culture, nor do they take shorter trips or travel more in off-peak times. This is unlike the situation at a number of other European destinations where the introduction of regular low cost services has provided the flexibility for short break cultural tourism to develop.


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  • Accession Number: 01154762
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 15 2010 10:25AM