Air Malta inaugurated today its twice weekly scheduled service between Catania and Vienna Airport during a press conference at Catania airport. This route is very important for Air Malta as it signifies its return for intra-European flights and is an important step towards the growth strategy of becoming the airline of the Mediterranean Islands.
Present for the conference were Malta’s Minister of Tourism – Dr Konrad Mizzi, the Mayor of Catania, Air Malta Chairman – Dr Charles Mangion, Società Aeroporto Catania (SAC) Presidente Mrs Daniela Baglieri, SAC CEO Mr Nico Torrisi and Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer – Paul Sies.
Speaking at the conference Dr Konrad Mizzi said, “We are thrilled to be launching today Air Malta’s intra-European flights between Catania and Vienna. The launch of this new service, which has been absent for a number of years, forms part of the Government of Malta’s growth strategy for the airline and supports our commitment to establish this company as the Airline of the Mediterranean Islands. Sicily and specifically Catania are perfect to launch Air Malta’s growth strategy.”
Air Malta Chairman – Dr Charles Mangion added, “Sicily is a very important market for us ever since we started flying to Catania on the 1st of April 1981. Today we have a double daily flight in winter with more frequencies in summer, connecting the Air Malta network to Catania. Throughout these years we have increasingly invested in this market and these flights continue to show our commitment to the Sicilian market and thus help in developing further tourism and business opportunities on the island.”
Paul Sies, Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer commented; “Air Malta has increased its passenger figures by 7.3%, the past year we have changed our commercial strategy successfully and recent months have shown over 20% growth year over year. This has encouraged Air Malta to grow the fleet, the additional Airbus A320 aircraft that will join our fleet this March, we are aiming to increase our capacity by over 20% this year.
Part of this additional capacity will be dedicated to Sicily and we are confident that these developments will considerably increase the number of passengers this year.” Air Malta is not only selling Malta and Vienna from Catania, but offers excellent connections to many destinations like Casablanca, Tel Aviv offering the local travel agents more choice to sell to its customers and allowing more people to reach Sicily.
The President of the management company of Catania Airport (Società Aeroporto Catania – SAC) Daniela Baglieri and SAC CEO Nico Torrisi, commented, “For SAC and for all the territory of Eastern Sicily, the choice of Air Malta to cover the route Catania-Vienna with a biweekly flight is particularly significant. Not only because it connects Sicily to Austria with a steady connection and with the comforts of a great airline, but also because this announcement comes just one month after the start of flights between Malta and Comiso. Air Malta and the Maltese Government are affirming their commitment in a concrete way and are open for dialogue and partnership with Sicily through the two airports of the South Eastern Sicily.”
The introduction of this route is an excellent opportunity for Air Malta to explore further market opportunities and start positioning the airline as the leading carrier connecting several Mediterranean islands to important regions in Europe and across the Mediterranean. Air Malta’s strategic position in the centre of the Mediterranean offers Sicilians more connections to mainland Europe through Air Malta’s international flight network through Malta.
Air Malta will offer Sicilians more connectivity beyond Malta next summer since the airline will offer a five times weekly early morning departure from Catania Airport and late night arrival. In addition to Casablanca and Tel Aviv the Maltese airline will offer connectivity practically to all its summer network to Amsterdam, Bristol, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Istanbul*, Larnaca*, Lisbon, London Heathrow and Gatwick, Lyon, Malaga, Marseille, Milan Linate, Moscow Sheremetyevo, Munich, Paris Orly and Charles de Gaulle, Riga*, Rome Fiumicino, Venice Marco Polo, Vienna, Zurich. (* – Istanbul, Larnaca and Riga are based on our code share cooperation with Turkish Airlines, Emirates and airBaltic respectively).