Transaero Airlines’ first flight to Malta arrived from Moscow today.

The aircraft was greeted with a water arch from the airport’s fire and rescue team and tourists on board were handed flowers before joining in on the cake-cutting ceremony.

Passengers were welcomed by Russia's ambassador in Malta Vladimir Malygin, Malta Tourism Authority CEO Paul Bugeja and Malta International Airport CEO Alan Borg.

“We are very happy to welcome Transaero to our family of airlines operating to and from our airport. Transaero is the second new airline launched this year, and falls part of our strategy to increase connectivity to our island. The Russian airline will definitely help enhance our presence in the Russian market,” Mr Borg said.

Transaero CEO Olga Pleshakova hoped that the route would contribute to increase tourist exchange between the two countries.

Based in Moscow, the Russian airline is one of the largest in the country, operating an extensive domestic network as well as internationally across Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. Transaero Airlines has the largest fleet of long-haul wide-body aircraft in Russia.

Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said Malta's ambitious forecast this year iwass for further growth.

"Our objective is to stimulate further air route expansions to broaden our network. Transaero’s launch in Malta will definitely be a critical contribution to this success.”

Transaero is scheduled to fly weekly every Sunday this season.

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