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An analysis of recent developments in Malta’s air connectivity

Kurt Sant ()

No PP/03/2020, CBM Policy Papers from Central Bank of Malta

Abstract: In recent years, global air connectivity experienced an expansion unrivalled by any other form of transport, with considerable technological advancements making air travel increasingly efficient. Such connectivity improvements were also observed in Malta, with the country’s inherent geographical characteristics giving air travel a major advantage. Air connectivity is especially important to support the country’s economic sectors through various channels, especially those which are intrinsically directly dependent on air travel, such as the tourism and aircraft maintenance industries. This paper describes developments in Malta’s air connectivity since EU membership through the integration of various data sources such as Malta International Airport statistics and airline schedules, amongst others. This analysis shows significant route development from the Maltese Islands between 2005 and 2019, heavily influenced by the introduction and increased operations of low-cost carriers. In fact, when analysing the airlines propelling such connectivity developments, a clear shift from network carriers to low-cost carriers have characterised recent years. The passenger flow analysis, however, shows that links to important hubs and large airports, often exclusively served by network carriers, remain central connections to Malta. In fact, although direct long-haul flights are lacking, almost every country across all continents is just two flights away through secondary connections, highlighting the importance of connectivity to these large hubs. While COVID-19 has wiped out a significant number of direct connections from Malta, including connections to important hubs, restoring such connections or establishing alternative ones, will be crucial for the economy to benefit from the eventual global recovery in a post-pandemic environment.

JEL-codes: Z3 Z30 Z32 Z38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pgs
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-tre
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Downloads: (external link) ... air-connectivity.pdf First version, 2020 (application/pdf)

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