Fly Dubai will operate four weekly flights to Malta via Catania from 12 May, becoming the first airline to link the island to the Persian Gulf since the pandemic
Fly Dubai has announced that it will start flying to Malta four times a week from 12 May on a route that also includes Catania in Sicily.
The carrier will be the first to offer a direct link with the United Arab Emirates after the COVID-19 pandemic saw Emirates pull out of Malta.
The itinerary that includes Malta was announced on the same day that the airline said it will operate flights to Catania, Naples and Salzburg.
Fly Dubai flights to Malta International Airport and Catania International Airport will begin on 12 May with four times weekly service, the airline said.
Malta’s ambassador to the UAE, Maria Camilleri Calleja welcomed the news on Facebook. “Malta back on the flight map,” she said, marking the first air link with a Persian Gulf state since the start of the pandemic.
MaltaToday had announced last December that MIA and the Maltese tourism authorities were in "advanced talks" with Fly Dubai.
Malta lost its connections to Dubai when Emirates pulled out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions introduced worldwide. The country also lost the link to Doha in Qatar when Qatar Airways also pulled out.
A report by the Central Bank of Malta last month said that re-establishing lost air connections to major hubs like Dubai was crucial to economic recovery.
MIA CEO had told MaltaToday that the itinerary would see Fly Dubai operate between Malta and Dubai non-stop, or with a brief stop in Catania airport.
Fly Dubai is a subsidiary of Emirates and the partnership between the two airlines is expected to allow travellers to enjoy seamless connectivity by offering benefits such as the checking of luggage through to the passenger’s final destination.