An Air Malta Airbus A320-214 airplane (photo: Reuters)
Air Malta resumed direct flights to Cairo on 1 September after a 12-year hiatus, saying it wanted to capitalise on Egypt's new openness to tourism and foreign investments.
Flights from Malta to Cairo operate on Thursdays and Sundays, and from Cairo to Malta on Fridays and Mondays.
"The resumption of flights confirms that the promotional campaign for Egypt is yielding positive results, and is an indication of the success achieved by Egyptian tourism and its return on the world tourism map," Egypt's Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat told the media on Thursday.
Al-Mashat added that a large number of international airlines resumed their flights to Egypt, which will contribute to increasing tourist arrivals, particularly from new markets.
Air Malta stated the flights would continue throughout the winter season and there were plans to increase the number of flights to three per week next summer.
The airline's decision to suspend flights to Cairo in 2007 was influenced by economic factors.
“Egypt is opening up again for tourism, foreign investment and trade and Air Malta’s new direct services are intended to boost tourism and trade opportunities between the two countries,” the Malta Chamber website reported Air Malta Chairman Charles Mangion as saying following the resumption of flights.
Mangion said it was encouraging to see that on the first flight 300 return passengers were booked.
Malta is a southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea with a population of about 475,000.
Earlier in July, Spain's flag carrier Iberia announced operating four weekly direct flights between Madrid and Cairo as of March 2020.
Al-Mashat expressed the ministry's interest in opening new and promising markets, stressing the continuation of promotional efforts to increase traffic from various markets.