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FlyDubai to start with flights to Malta in May

Flydubai, a budget airline in Dubai, United Emirates has announced that it will start flying to Malta four times a week from 12 May. The route is also set to include Catania, in Sicily. The airline is the first to offer a direct link with the United Arab Emirates, after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in Emirates pulling out of flights to and from Malta.

The itinerary that includes Malta was announced on the same day that the airline said it would also be operating flights to Catania, Naples and Salzburg. Malta’s ambassador to the UAE, Maria Camilleri Calleja, welcomed the news: “Malta back on the flight map,” she said, marking the first air link with a Persian Gulf since the start of COVID-19.

“Joined by the Malta Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Malta Tourism Authority, we are grateful to flydubai for announcing the route to Malta, providing an opportunity to foster and strengthen the political, commercial and people-to-people relations between our two countries.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai

Commenting on the announcement, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said: “with the start of flights to Catania, Malta, Naples and Salzburg we continue to gradually grow our network catering to an increasing demand for travel, as more passengers return to the skies and more countries ease restrictions on international air travel.

“Since commencing operations in 2009, we have been committed to opening up previously underserved markets and the launch of our latest routes in Europe demonstrates our continuous efforts to offer more people the opportunity to travel more often while creating free flows of travel, trade, and tourism.”

The Maltese Islands lost their connections to Dubai when Emirates pulled out as a result of restrictions, which were introduced worldwide. The country also lost the link to Doha when Qatar Airways pulled out, too. That being said, a report by the Central Bank of Malta said that re-establishing lost air connections to major hubs like Dubai was in fact, crucial to economic recovery.

Flydubai is a subsidiary of Emirates and the partnership between the two airlines is expected to allow travelers to enjoy seamless connectivity by offering benefits like the checking of luggage through to the passenger’s final destination.