Air Malta is cancelling all its flights to Manchester and cutting its flight frequency to London Heathrow to six times a week, following a UK decision to keep Malta off its green list for travel.

The national airline will instead be upping its flight frequency to Paris and Amsterdam, following strong booking from the French and Dutch markets.

Air Malta will fly to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport six times a week as of July 20, with one flight every day except for Wednesdays.

The airline will also be flying to Amsterdam every day of the week except for Tuesdays and Sundays, with an additional flight to be added in September.

Flights to Heathrow – traditionally Air Malta’s strongest route – will now only operate six times a week, with 11 return flights to the London airport getting the chop.

Air Malta’s decision to curtail its services to the UK market follows that government’s decision to keep Malta off its safe travel list, despite Malta’s case numbers being the lowest in Europe.

According to London's The Sunday Times, UK ministers “ignored scientific advice” when making that decision, with UK health secretary Matt Hancock adamant on restricting travel this summer.

The UK has been battling a rise in virus case numbers attributable to the Delta COVID-19 variant.

Commenting on these changes, Air Malta’s chief commercial officer Roy Kinnear said that the airline was continuously monitoring developments and adapting its flight schedule accordingly.

“Unfortunately, the continued absence of green list status in the UK and the decline in advance bookings with no obvious signs of improvement, we are left with no option but to consolidate our planned operations. The UK remains an integral part of our future network plans and Air Malta will reconsider its position if the circumstances change,” Kinnear said.

Air Malta’s current summer schedule lists flights to and from 19 different cities across Europe: Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Lyon, Munich, Milan Linate, Palermo, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Paris Orly, Prague, Rome, Vienna, and Zurich.

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