The cost of booking some Air Malta flights for the day before the election has shot up compared to a seat booked for a week earlier, with a difference in some cases of well over €300.

An Air Malta spokesperson pointed to demand as the reason for the jump in prices in the week leading up to the election.

Earlier this week, the national airline announced it will be making available return tickets on its regular scheduled services at a charge of €90, to enable eligible overseas voters to return home to vote on March 26, election day.

The only way for Maltese abroad to cast their vote is to hop on a plane back to Malta.

To bag the offer, Maltese expats must make reservations though the Air Malta call centres (+356 2141 8118) and travel to Malta between March 16 and 26, returning between March 26 and March 30.

Those who opt for early voting on March 19 can travel to Malta between March 16 and 18 and then fly back between March 19 and 30.

The €90 flights are only available to eligible voters. Tourists and anyone else not registered to vote have noticed flight prices doubling as one gets near the election date.

Times of Malta compared prices for flights into Malta on Friday, March 18, with prices for a seat on Friday 25, election eve.

On March 18, the cheapest outbound flight from London to Malta is priced at £68.07 in economy class. The following week, March 25, the price jumps to £416.07 (economy) – a difference of £348.

Flights from Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, start from £170.68 for March 18 in economy class but those planning to travel the following weekend would be shocked to find that the cheapest price is as high as £551.68.

The cheapest flight from Brussels on Friday 18 is a six-hour and 35-minute flight (including one stop) starting at €213.42.

The following Friday the cheapest flight is marginally higher, starting at €232.58. There is also the option of catching one flight from Brussels, with a layover of eight hours, at the price of €749.42.

Anyone who wishes to visit Malta the following day, March 26, can do so at €72.21.

An outbound flight from Munich, Germany to Malta a day before the general election is priced at €133.91, a difference of €37 compared to the Friday before, with ticket prices starting at €96.91.

An Air Malta representative said it was not unreasonable to expect the demand for travel during the week running up to the election to be higher than demand in the weeks before or after election week.

“In addition, the week after election day is the first week of the new summer schedule when Air Malta will significantly increase the number of flights it operates to 125 weekly return services across 19 European cities, in comparison to a much smaller schedule during the winter period, when Omicron and COVID were much greater depressors of travel plans.”

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