Malta International Airport saw an increase in cargo flights in April in what was the only positive in a harrowing month as passenger numbers plunged by 99% owing to a ban on travel. 

Flights carrying freight registered an increase of 39.8 per cent over the same month in 2019 to total 186 aircraft movements.

But with the travel ban having been imposed at the end of March because of COVID-19, passenger numbers dropped by 99.64 per cent.

MIA said it only handled 2,370 passengers - roughly equivalent to the number of people usually processed in an hour on a typical day in summer.

The passengers used the airport on 73 repatriation flights.

CEO Alan Borg said the return to pre-COVID figures would be a long and hard one, but he was optimistic that if all stakeholders continued to pull the same rope and remained open to taking the necessary measures, customer confidence would gradually be restored and the demand for travel would recover.

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