Malta’s airport has among the worst on-time performance, a passenger rights group has found.
The island’s only airport placed at 128th place out of the 132 airports whose performance was analysed in the survey by the group AirHelp. The ranking took into account official flight data as well as surveys among some 40,000 travellers.
While Malta’s ranking stood at 6.05 out of 10, a score that is among the lowest, it was the airport’s on-time performance that impacted the result most. At just five out of 10, the ranking for on-time performance for the Malta International Airport (MIA) is the fourth lowest, with only the airports in Kuwait, Lisbon Portela and Eindhoven faring worse.
On-time performance measures how likely it is for a flight to depart at its scheduled time.
The metric was given a 60 per cent weighting for AirHelp's ranking, with airports' services and food and shops weighted 20 per cent each.
In the latter two aspects, Malta’s airport scored a 7.7 out of 10 for service quality and a 7.5 out of 10 for food and shops.
While notably higher than the rank for the on-time performance score, the points awarded to the MIA in the two other categories were still among the bottom 20 airports ranked.
Most disruptions are out of our control - MIA
A spokeswoman for MIA said the ranking was “unfortunately significantly affected by its score for on-time performance”.
“While we acknowledge that flight disruptions do negatively affect the overall travel experience, the most common causes of disruption (including weather, strikes, technical issues, and the domino effect these create) are largely outside MIA’s control and are a frequent occurrence which every airport actively works to mitigate in its day-to-day operations,” the spokeswoman said.
Airport investing in new infrastructure
The company’s key focus, she said, is on driving service quality within the terminal and on the improvement of our facilities on the ground.
“These efforts have been consistently recognised by more than one certified airport ranking authority over the years, whose data is collected, qualified and audited by passengers who have visited Malta International Airport.
“In fact, MIA has featured among the top five airports within its category of the Airport’s Council International’s Airport Service Quality Survey for the last ten years, having received the coveted ‘Best Airport in Europe’ award in 2018,” the spokeswoman said.
When asked whether there were concerns that the on-time ranking could impact tourist numbers, the spokeswoman did not reply.
New airport infrastructure
Meanwhile, a government spokesman said that the airport is investing in new infrastructure which will “improve the airport terminal experience”.
“In addition to the above, the government allocated management responsibility of an additional space to Malta International Airport to increase parking slots for aircraft.
“Apart from the mentioned project, the Malta Air Traffic Services has introduced new measures to increase the efficiency of airport operations. In May 2018, it introduced for the first time ever Performance Based Navigation procedures on RWY 23/05 that has resulted in a significant reduction in diversions and flight delays in adverse weather conditions.
“Furthermore, MATS launched a project to build a New Air Traffic Control Complex that will involve the building of a new air traffic control tower equipped with the latest technology to increase the capacity of the airport while maintaining the high safety levels it enjoys.”
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