Minister for the Economy, Investments and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri and Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Julia Farrugia Portelli participated in the re-opening of Malta International Airport and witnessed the first commercial flight by Air Malta with 108 passengers on board.
Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri thanked all those involved in arriving where we are today, the re-opening of Malta International Airport, a place which generates essential economic activity which affects every family and sector, that is tourism. “We have embarked on a journey of new normality. Being from Luqa, I have missed the sound of that plane engine every now and then and here we are today witnessing a milestone we have achieved together through strong collaboration and sacrifices. Pulling the same rope was and remains of utmost importance and I look forward to seeing tourists enjoying the beauty of our islands and attracting new investment again, which shall complement our strong aviation sector", said Silvio Schembri.
Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Julia Farrugia Portelli highlighted the importance of the reopening of tourism in our economy. With tourism representing 30% of Malta's economy she described today's events as a milestone and applauded all the entities who worked so hard to make this happen. As of today, we are expecting 11 incoming flights and another 12 tomorrow with a total of 81 different flights during this week. Minister Farrugia Portelli said that Malta is proud to host guests and looks forward to welcoming 700,000 tourists by the end of this year.
“Today officially marks the start of what will be a long and challenging journey towards recovery. However, I am optimistic that if we continue to work together with all industry stakeholders, including our national carrier and other partner airlines, the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority, we will eventually see our airport bustle with activity again and reach sustainable tourism numbers", said Malta International Airport CEO Mr Alan Borg.
The two ministers together with the CEO of the Malta International Airport Alan Borg welcomed Air Malta's flight KM613 from Rome, the first commercial flight of the airline to bring tourists to the islands following the airport's closure on the 21st March 2020.