- Tourist numbers from Ireland up 20pc on last year
- New Cork-Valletta route will have 400 seats a week
- Island aims for seasonal Ryanair route to go year-round
Malta wants the new Ryanair summer route from Cork to Valletta – which starts on April 4 – to go year-round.
And, with Irish visitor numbers to the Mediterranean island increasing this year, its tourism authority is also hoping to see a direct flight from Shannon to Valletta.
“Irish visitor numbers increased by 20pc from January to September this year, compared to the same time last year,” Peter Vella, Director for the British and Irish markets for the Malta Tourism Authority, told Travel Extra.
Mr Vella said that this outpaced its British market, where visitor numbers rose by 17pc.
He said he’s aiming to see the new seasonal route from Cork, launched in Leeside last week, to go year-round as the island attracts visitors at all times of the year, and is currently enjoying 21C temperatures.
“Seventy people were at the launch in Cork,” he said, “seven media and a huge turnout from the trade there.”
He said he’s keen to see a direct service from Shannon to the island, which attracted a total of 2,063,457 visitors worldwide so far this year – up 15.2pc on 2017.
The Ryanair route departs Cork at 18.20 on Thursdays and 18.40 on Sundays. The return flight departs Malta at 15.10 on Thursdays and 15.30 on Sundays.
The airline flies 5w from Dublin to the island during the summer season, and 3w during the winter.
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