Charges imposed by the Malta International Airport are lower than those imposed by main European airports, giving the Maltese airport a competitive advantage on other main European airports.
Writing in The Times on Monday the deputy chief operating officer of Ryan Air Michael Cawley called on the government to take remedial action to make the Maltese airport internationally competitive.
While MIA is competitive with regards to large European airports, low cost airlines like Ryan air tend to operate from smaller regional airports known for imposing lower charges than main airports.
Malta has only one airport, which is obliged by competition rules to grant the same conditions to all airlines using its services.
This is one of Malta’s main disadvantages when it comes to attracting low cost airlines.
According to the latest documentation available from reliable aviation sources, charges imposed by Malta International Airport on airlines and passengers are equivalent to an average of EUR19.65 per passenger, significantly lower than charges imposed in Heathrow, Amsterdam, Athens, Vienna and Munich.
These charges include landing fees, parking fees and other charges.
In Heathrow charges imposed on passengers and airlines amount to an average of EUR26.11 per passenger. In Amsterdam these charges amount to an average EUR33.11 per passenger. In Athens charges amount to an average of EUR21.80 per passenger.
In a letter published in Monday's edition of the Times of Malta the deputy chief operating officer of Ryan Air Michael Cawley called on the government to take “remedial action” to force Malta International Airport to become “internationally competitive and thereby reducing its costs to generate the kind of passenger numbers commensurate with the size of the island and the potential of its tourism industry.”
Contacted by The Malta Financial and Business Times an MIA spokesperson declared that the company “had nothing further to add in respect to Mr Cawley's comments.”
This newspaper also asked MIA to state which charges it was imposing on airlines using the airport.
Landing Fees for fixed wing aircraft for MTOW (weights above maximum takeoff weight) not exceeding 12,000kgs is set at Lm 0.56c per 500 kg.
For weights exceeding 12,000kgs a fixed Charge of Lm13.01c is imposed together with a variable Charge of Lm0.79c per 500 kg in excess of 12,000 kgs.
In the case of landing and/or take-off at night, the charges are increased by 25 per cent.
These rates are quite lower than similar charges in other main European airports.
While an airbus A320 landing in Heathrow is expected to pay EUR885 in landing fees, the same aeroplane landing in Malta is expected to pay EUR292. A Boeing B733 is expected to pay EUR462 in landing fees in Athens. In Malta it is only expected to pay EUR211.
The fees for the parking of aircraft are assessed on the basis of the space occupied by the aeroplane.
The minimum parking charges is set at Lm0.30c. The standard charge for MTOW not exceeding 2,500kgs is Lm 0.32c for each 24 hour period or part thereof for periods exceeding 6 hours.
In the case where MTOW exceeds 2,500kgs the charge is equivalent to Lm 0.043c per 10 square metres of space occupied, for each 24 hours period or part thereof exceeding 6 hours.
These charges are also significantly lower than those in other main European airports. In Athens an airbus A320/1 is expected to pay 188 in parking fees. In Malta the same aeroplane is only expected to pay EUR14 in parking fees.
An aircraft owner or operator is also required to pay Malta International Airport plc a passenger service charge for each passenger departing on an aircraft from Malta International Airport.
The standard charge for each departing passenger amounts to Lm 6.65c. This charge does not apply to passengers in direct transit, aircrew and infants under the age of two years. A security fee for each departing passenger set at to Lm 0.92c is also paid.
As regards passenger service and security fees charges by MIA are higher than those imposed in Athens but lower than those imposed in Heathrow, Amsterdam, Vienna and Munich.